The administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) will be imposing a complete weekend curfew, starting tonight, because of surge in daily COVID-19 cases. Only essential and emergency services are to be allowed. The curfew will be observed till 6am on April 26.
Officials said the total number of COVID-19 cases in J&K surged to 1,56,344 on Friday as 1,937 more people tested positive for the virus, while the death toll climbed to 2,111 with a record daily jump of 19 fatalities. The Congress party’s J&K unit, on Saturday, expressed grave concern over the COVID-19 situation in the valley and called for the speeding up of the vaccination process.
Earlier, a night curfew had been imposed in all municipal and urban local body limits of all 20 districts of J&K. Public transport, including mini-buses and buses, shall be permitted to ply only 50% of its authorized seating capacity. Only 50% shops in market complexes, bazaars and malls within the municipal limits, urban local body limits shall be open on an alternate basis through a rotation system.
Shopkeepers had followed the order with some reservations, but the transporters in Jammu had gone on an indefinite strike on April 21, demanding a 50% hike in the passenger fare to save them from operational losses. The Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), according to Mint, appealed to the UT administration to review its decision pertaining to the opening of 50% shops on alternate days, claiming that the schedule formulated by the administration is causing much inconvenience to both the trading community as well as people at large.
The JCCI demanded a review of the order and suggested that shops and other establishments should be allowed to work daily from 10am to 6pm with a two-day weekend lockdown on Saturdays and Sundays. And keeping the marriage season in mind, the JCCI said people, especially those who have weddings in their families, are highly perturbed over this schedule, which needs an immediate review.
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.