Ignoring appeals by ulmas and religious scholars to adhere to COVID curfew imposed to break the chain, people are still hitting the streets in Kashmir valley, where 5000 violators were fined, 869 other arrested and hundreds of vehicles seized during the past over one week.
J&K witnessed another grim day on Monday with 73 people, including 54 from Jammu and 19 from Kashmir, losing their lives to Coronavirus, the highest-ever daily fatalities since the outbreak in the Union Territory. As many as 3,344 new positive cases were also reported in the Union Territory, which has witnessed an acute shortage of COVID vaccine, particularly in Kashmir, during the last over 10 days.
Majority of the people remained confined to their homes as strict restrictions continued for the 20th successive day on Tuesday following extension of ‘COVID curfew’ till May 24 to curtail the spread of the virus in the valley. But, traffic jams were witnessed in some areas in uptown Srinagar, including near Jahangir Chowk, where security forces were allowing only people associated with essential services to move ahead on Monday.
An official said that an amount of Rs 8.24 lakh was collected as fine from 5026 people while 869 others were arrested between May 10 and May 17 for violating COVID curfew and other guidelines imposed by the administration to curtail the spread of the virus.
He said around 479 FIRs were also filed against COVID curfew violators, while 129 vehicles were seized during the last week.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday extended the ‘COVID curfew’ by another week till May 24 in all 20 districts in the Union Territory though essential services were exempted from the lockdown.
This was the fourth successive extension of COVID curfew in the valley since April 29. The development came in the backdrop of unabated rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in J&K, particularly the summer capital, Srinagar, which has recorded the major chunk of positive cases during the last over a month.