Jammu and Kashmir announces 34-hour curfew from 8 pm Saturday to 6 am Monday to contain coronavirus spread
The administration in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir has decided to impose complete weekend curfew as it is witnessing a surge in daily covid-19 cases. "Complete corona curfew to be observed in the Union Territory from 8 pm tonight till 6 am on April 26 (Monday). Essential and emergency services to be allowed. All market, commercial institutions will remain closed," according to a statement from the Office of LG, Jammu & Kashmir.
Earlier the administration imposed night curfew in all municipal and urban local body limits of all 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Public transport (matadors/mini-buses/buses) shall be permitted to ply only at 50 per cent of its authorised seating capacity.Only 50% shops in market complexes/bazaars/malls within the municipal limits/urban local body limits shall be open on an alternate basis through a rotation system.
Besides extending the night curfew on April 20, the administration had ordered the closure of 50 per cent shops on alternate basis in municipal and urban areas and capped the passenger capacity in public transport at 50 per cent.
While the shopkeepers followed the order with some reservations, the transporters in the Jammu region went on an indefinite strike on April 21, demanding a 50-per cent hike in the passenger fare to save them from operational losses.
The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) appealed to the Union Territory administration to review its decision pertaining to the opening of 50 per cent shops on alternate days, claiming that the schedule formulated by the administration is causing much inconvenience to both the trading community as well as the people at large.
Demanding a review of the order, the trade body suggested that the shops and other establishments should be allowed to work daily from 10 am to 6 pm with a two-day weekend lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays.
In view of the marriage season having commenced, the JCCI said people, especially those who have weddings in their families, are highly perturbed over this schedule, which needs an immediate review.
Expressing similar views, the Federation of Traders' Associations said there are some markets in Jammu that deal in single-stuff products and keeping the entire market closed on particular days causes great inconvenience to people. Meanwhile, the Nehru Market and Kanak Mandi wholesale markets in Jammu city remained voluntarily closed on Saturday.
Ware House Nehru Market Traders' Association president Deepak Gupta said the decision to observe a weekend lockdown was taken in view of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
However, he said the association does not support the administration's decision of opening 50 per cent shops on alternate days as the move is not in favour of the general public and the traders.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir surged to 1,56,344 on Friday as 1,937 more people tested positive for the disease while the death toll climbed to 2,111 with a record daily jump of 19 fatalities, officials said.
The fresh cases include 152 travellers, they said.
While 1,091 new cases were reported from the Kashmir division, 846 were from the Jammu division of the union territory, the officials said.
Jammu district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 525, followed by 501 in Srinagar and 156 in Budgam.
The number of active cases in Jammu and Kashmir stands at 16,993. So far, 1,37,240 coronavirus patients have recovered from the infection, the officials said.
*With agency inputs
Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint.
our App Now!!