AJK also imposes restrictions on Eid

Published May 6, 2021
All businesses and shops would remain closed during the lockdown except those dealing with essential services and commodities, said a notification issued by the AJK home department.
— Reuters/File
All businesses and shops would remain closed during the lockdown except those dealing with essential services and commodities, said a notification issued by the AJK home department. — Reuters/File

MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government on Wednesday announced imposition of lockdown in the name of “mobility control measures” from May 8 to May 16 in the light of the decisions made by National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) late last month.

All businesses and shops would remain closed during the lockdown except those dealing with essential services and commodities, said a notification issued by the AJK home department.

The businesses that have been allowed to operate round the clock include pharmacies, medical facilities and vaccination centres, fuel stations, tyre repair shops, tandoors and dairy shops, takeaways, e-commerce (home delivery), utility services, such as electricity, natural gas, internet, telecommunications networks, and media.

Vegetable, fruit, chicken and meat shops, grocery stores, bakeries and sweet shops, would also remain open on a daily basis but until 6pm, the notification added.

It said there would be a complete ban on tourism for both the locals and the outsiders and all tourist resorts, formal and informal picnic spots, public parks, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants in and around tourist/picnic spots would remain shut.

According to the notification, there would also be a complete ban on inter-provincial, inter and intra city public transport. However, goods transport, private vehicles, cabs and rickshaws would be allowed on roads with 50pc occupancy.

A continuous campaign would be launched through traditional and social media on the theme “stay home, stay safe for Eidul Fitr,” it said.

The notification said that uninterrupted electricity supply would be ensured during the Eid holidays, but was silent about holding of Eid prayer congregations.

According to Dr Najeeb Naqi, AJK minister for health, many parts of AJK had lately been witnessing an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases.

Over the past one week (from April 29 to May 5) as many as 652 out of 4738 suspected persons had tested positive for Covid-19 in different parts of AJK, putting the positivity ratio to almost 14pc, he said, adding, some 24 persons had also lost their lives to the deadly viral disease during the past week.

According to the minister, the “mobility control measures” had become inevitable following virtual non-cooperation by the masses in observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) publicized by the government from time to time to contain Covid-19.

Giving the overall figures since the outbreak of the pandemic, the health minister informed that17583out of179843 suspected persons had tested positive in AJK.

Of the positive patients, 15011 had recovered but 494 could not survive. Of the rest, 2078 were undergoing treatment, 1998 at homes and 80 in the health facilities, he said.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2021

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