#Coronavirus: As lockdown enters 13th-day, 26 Areas across J&K declared as ‘Red Zones’

Amid continuing lockdown and restrictions for the 13th consecutive day, the government Tuesday declared 26 areas in Jammu and Kashmir as “red zones” in view of the surge in coronavirus cases in the Union Territory.

According to Directorate of Information and Public Relations, Mehjoor Nagar, Natipora, Lal Bazar, Eidgah and Shalteng areas in Srinagar district and Chadoora in Budgam district and Waskura in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir have been declared as “Red Zones”.

The other “red zone” areas are Parray Mohala, Chandergeer, Batagund in the Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district and Gudoora, Chandgam, Pinglena, Parigam, Abhama, Sangerwani and Khaigam in Pulwama district and Sedew and Ramnagri in Shopian district in South Kashmir.

Moreover, five villages including Sarola, Dehridhara, Mangal Nar, Gambir Muglan and Kotli of Manjakote Tehsil in Rajouri district have also been declared as red zones while authorities imposed restrictions in Bhatindi, Sunjwan, and Gujjar Nagar areas of Jammu district.

Declaring these areas as “red zones” adds to the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in Kashmir and the move follows the lockdown and stringent restrictions on public gathering and movement since March 19.

On Monday, authorities had sealed several areas surrounding the location of positive cases or untraced contact cases in Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, and Rajouri.

Deputy Commissioner, Shahid Choudhary said this was important and indispensable.
“With some more cases coming positive these areas will be restricted till all precautions and measures are in places,” he tweeted.

In Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, people prefer to stay indoors in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
There are 43 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kashmir and 12 in Jammu. There have also been two deaths in Kashmir due to coronavirus.

In order to enforce restrictions, police and paramilitary forces remain deployed in Srinagar and other parts of the Union Territory while highways and intersections are sealed to prevent movement of inter-state and inter-district vehicles.

Authorities continue to caution people about maintaining social distance, following advisories with regard to COVID-19 prevention and discourage public assembly and movement. 
During the 13 day lockdown period, police have arrested over a hundred people and over 300 FIRs have been registered against the violators of prohibitory orders. 

Meanwhile, the lockdown of business and private offices and other establishments continued in the Valley.
Lal Chowk, the commercial nerve center in Srinagar, also remained out of bounds as forces denied entry into the main city. 
However, people were allowed access to essential services including the purchase of essentials including drugs, groceries, vegetables, and fruits etc.

The government vehicles, ambulances, and government staff involved in efforts against COVID-19 and staff of other emergency services have been exempted from such curbs in the Valley.

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