Restrictions tightened in Kashmir

Suspected coronavirus patient flees from hospital, tracked and readmitted


Thirty-four arrested in Handwara for violating prohibitory orders, 12 vehicles seized

Srinagar, Mar 25: Restrictions on movement imposed in Kashmir to prevent the spread of coronavirus were tightened on Wednesday and strict action initiated against violaters, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of a 21-day nationwide lockdown, officials said.
Security forces sealed off several roads and erected barriers across the Valley to enforce the lockdown, they said.
Police vehicles fitted with public address systems went around the residential areas late Tuesday as well as on Wednesday morning, announcing the imposition of restrictions under section 144 of CrPC and advising people to stay indoors, the officials said.
Police also used drones in some parts of the city to announce the restrictions, they added.
While the prime minister announced the country-wide lock down on Tuesday evening, the Union territory administration here had on Sunday imposed a similar restriction till March 31 as part of its efforts to combat coronavirus. The administration said essential services, including healthcare, were exempted from the purview of the restrictions. It asked people to cooperate with it and warned of action against any violation of the prohibitory orders. Forty-nine people were arrested in Srinagar, Sopore, Handwara and Anantnag areas of the Valley for violating the prohibitory orders on Monday, while 45 were arrested in Ganderbal and Kupwara districts on Tuesday.
More than 1,800 residents of Kashmir, who have arrived from various countries, have been placed under quarantine at makeshift facilities. The authorities have appealed to people coming from outside to approach health officials and not conceal their travel history. Meanwhile, markets across the Valley were shut and public transport was off the roads. Only pharmacies and groceries were allowed to operate, the officials said. Train services stand suspended till March 31. Educational institutions across Kashmir and all public places, including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants, have closed.
The restrictions were initially imposed in many parts of the Valley last Thursday after a 67-year-old woman from Khanyar area of the city, who had returned on March 16 from Saudi Arabia, tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
The number of positive cases in the Valley stands at four. However, a suspected coronavirus patient, who had recently travelled to another country, Wednesday fled from a hospital here but was immediately tracked and re-admitted, officials said. They said legal action would be taken against the patient for putting other people's health at risk.
"A suspected coronavirus patient, with travel history to Hungary, fled from Chest Disease Hospital at Dalgate here on Wednesday afternoon," the officials said. The patient, a resident of Batamaloo area of the city here, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and his sample has been sent for the COVID-19 test, the officials said. However, the patient was immediately tracked and re-admitted to a hospital.
"Tracked. Admitted again. Legal action to follow," District Magistrate Srinagar, ShahidChoudhary said on Twitter. 34 people were arrested while 12 vehicles were seized for violating prohibitory orders issued by the government, police said on Tuesday.
The prohibitory orders were issued to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. "Handwara Police in its series of actions against violators of prohibitory orders issued by Govt. have arrested 34 persons for defying the Govt orders. In the Jurisdiction of PS Handwara 06 persons were arrested and 06 vehicles were seized for violating the orders. In this regard cases FIR Numbers 74/2020, 75/2020 under relevant sections of law stands registered in Police Station Handwara," said an official release. The police said that three violators have been booked in Kralgund and three vehicles have been seized from them.
"Similarly, officers from PS Vilgam have arrested 15 violators and 06 vehicles have also been seized. Case FIR NO 15/2020 under relevant sections of law stands registered in this regard in Police Station Vilgam," the release said.
"In another action, Police Station Qalamabad booked 10 violators who have been found violating the restrictions imposed u/s 144 IPC. In this connection case, FIR No 16/2020 stands registered and an investigation is going on," it said.

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