COVID-19: Govt orders, statements confuse ‘valleyties’

Srinagar: For the last few days, administration has issued various orders and statements which have confused the ‘valleyties’ amid COVID-19.
The decisions like reimposing restrictions and at the same time reopening tourism and tourist spots have not gone well with people widely criticising these decisions.

On Saturday evening, the government said that authorities had not taken any decision on reimposing lock down in Kashmir.
However, various district development commissioners issued orders on Sunday reimposing restrictions in various parts of Kashmir.

Srinagar district administration issued an order which says there are restrictions on public movement and activities imposed in 88 areas notified as COVID-19 red zones in Srinagar after a sharp spike in positive cases has been reported in the district in the last couple of weeks.
The concerned authorities have been directed to disallow all kinds of movement and activities in these areas.

“Latest guidelines as notified for management of red zones will be followed in these areas with all respective teams of management and enforcement authorised and equipped with all requisites to implement them in letter and spirit,” it says.

The order reads, “Each red zone will be sealed at 300-500 meters from spots where COVID-19 positive cases have been detected therein. Entries and exits of all these areas will be manned to ensure strict enforcement of restrictions on movement into and out of them.”
The same day, the government announced reopening of tourism from July 14.

“There will be a partial opening of the tourism sector for visitors from outside J&K, limited to tourists arriving by air only. In the view of the Covid related measures, it is felt imperative to put in place a protocol to be followed by the tourists as well the person’s/authorities engaged in the hospitality sector,” the government statement reads.

People believe there was “mismanagement” by the government on how to deal with the situation. “When COVID-19 cases are on the rise, the government still opened public parks and gardens. While on Sunday, the government announced restrictions to be imposed in parts of Kashmir and subsequently announced reopening of tourism. All these things are confusing people,” Bashir Ahmad, a government teacher told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).

A Kashmir University professor said, “Government is itself responsible for creating confusion. “On one hand, administration is saying people are not adhering to guidelines while on other side it is opening tourist places and reopening tourism”.(KINS)