Valley News Desk

Srinagar: Entire Kashmir will continue to be under strict lockdown beyond April 20 owing to COVID19 hotspots across its districts.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole, while speaking to the Greater Kashmir said all districts of Kashmir division had more than one COVID19 hotspot and therefore bar on public movement will continue.

PM Narendra Modi in his TV address this morning had said that some relaxations may be allowed after April 20 in places where there are no hotspots.

Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education, Atal Dulloo said J&K Government will wait for the detailed guidelines for lockdown and relaxation being issued by GoI on 15 April. “We will then deliberate on how to implement those guidelines in J&K.”

A senior public health official said that J&K government was preparing a micro-planning document to effectively contain COVID19 in places where there were clusters. He said that although many parts of the Valley had relatively lesser number of cases, the clusters had the potential to spread further. “Government has been completely sealing areas which are reporting more than two cases in the neighborhood,” he said.

He added that the situation will be watched for two weeks and stricter curbs will be implemented in “red zones” whereas “green zones”, those which are not reporting cases, will see some respite thereafter.

Another official said that Government had issued instructions to district administrations to intensify sampling of suspected cases in order to get a better picture of the epidemic in J&K. “Test, isolate, treat – This is our strategy for now,” the official said adding that lockdown would be relaxed only after there is an abate of cases. “For now, it is a clear surge and we need to see a flattened curve, may be nose-diving as well,” he said. (GK)

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