Jammu and Kashmir reported its first coronavirus death on Thursday (March 26) after a 65-year-old man hailing from Hyderpora area succumbed to the disease. The death takes India’s coronavirus toll to 11.
Four people who had come in contact with the man have also tested positive for coronavirus.
“As we share the sad news of our first #Covid19 fatality, my heart goes out to the family of the deceased. We stand with you and share your grief,” Mayor of Srinagar Junaid Azim Mattu tweeted.
Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal also confirmed the death via Twitter.
“First death due to coronavirus- 65 years old male from Hyderpora Srinagar. Four of his contacts also tested positive yesterday,” Kansal said.
Four people had tested positive for coronavirus in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases to 11.
Authorities in Kashmir have expressed apprehensions that the cases could be more than reported in the Valley as a significant number of people appeared to have concealed their travel history.
As per a government bulletin on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir, as many as 5,124 travellers and people who came in contact with suspected and positive cases have been put under surveillance.
Among them 3,061 are in home quarantine (including facilities operated by the government), 80 in hospital quarantine and 1,477 in home surveillance.
Restrictions on movement imposed in Kashmir to prevent the spread of coronavirus were tightened on Wednesday.
The security forces sealed off many roads and erected barriers to check the movement of people across the valley. Police vehicles fitted with public address systems went around the residential areas of the city and elsewhere in the valley late on Wednesday as well as on Thursday morning to announce that restrictions under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) were imposed and advised people to stay indoors.
The police were also using drones to announce the restrictions on the movement of people in some parts of the city, the officials said.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a countrywide lockdown on Tuesday evening, the Union Territory administration announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till March 31 on Sunday as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Essential services, including healthcare personnel, are exempted from the restrictions. The administration has urged people for cooperation and warned them of action for violating the prohibitory orders.
The district administrations have put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and delivery of essential services to the public. Essential commodities will be home-delivered to the residents as part of the mechanism. However, there were reports of violations of the prohibitory orders at several places across the valley, following which the police took action by arresting several people and seizing their vehicles.
The markets across the valley were shut and public transport was off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, the officials said. Educational institutions are closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down more than a week before the nationwide lockdown announced by the prime minister. Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on last Thursday to contain the spread of the virus.
The measures were taken after a 67-year-old woman from the Khanyar area of the city, who had returned from Saudi Arabia on March 16 after performing Umrah, tested positive for COVID-19.
(With inputs from agencies)