SRINAGAR: A day after a 67-year-old woman with travel history to Saudi Arabia tested positive for coronavirus in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir is heading for a second lockdown. Though still suffering from the impact of the restrictions imposed in the Valley since August 5 last year following the abrogation of Article 370, the people of Kashmir, however, are willing to bear without complaint any restrictions on movement of people and vehicles to prevent spread of the deadly coronavirus.
A massive drive has been launched to screen all persons who had come in contact with the patient while the area within 300 metres radius of the house of the patient has been sealed. Authorities imposed restrictions on public movement and public gatherings in many areas of Srinagar and banned movement of public transport. The entry of inter-district and inter-city buses into Srinagar has also been banned.
Armoured security vehicles and concertina wires are back on roads to restrict movement of people. However, this time none is complaining. “We don’t have adequate health infrastructure. What can our doctors do when Kashmir has only 93 ventilators? It is better to lock down the Valley and go for door-to-door random testing,” said Javed Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar.
There was panic buying in parts of Srinagar with people stocking essential commodities, medicines etc. There were long queues at fuel stations, too. Meanwhile, pressure is building on J&K government to restore high speed internet to allow better communication among doctors and teacher-students and allow employees to work from home. National Conference president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah, who was released last Friday after seven months in detention, wrote to PM Narendra Modi urging him to restore 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir.