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Locked for five months, shrines in J-K finally reopen

Some outstanding non secular locations together with shrines opened in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday for prayers after remaining closed for over five months to comprise the unfold of novel coronavirus.

People supplied day by day prayers in some shrines and mosques in Kashmir Valley however took precautions like sustaining social distance and carrying masks.

Small mosques in the mohallas and inside areas had already opened up in the last few weeks however few devotees have been displaying up for prayers. On Sunday, for the primary time in five months individuals supplied prayers in congregation in outstanding shrines like Dastigeer Sahib in the Old City. People additionally said that they visited Khanqah-e-Moula shrine on the banks of Jhelum.

“We offered congregation prayer for the first time since mid-March in the afternoon today. Alhamdulillah all SOPs were followed. There was a good response from the people and they took precautions,” said Syed Khalid Geelani, Sajadah Nasheen (one of many caretakers) of Dastigeer Sahib shrine.

People have been upbeat. “Everybody is aware of the importance of precautions during this pandemic. Though we used to offer prayers in our local mosques for the last few weeks but opening of these shrines fills us with hope and gives us solace,” said Bilal Ahmad, a resident of Old City.

But not each mosque opened on Sunday. Kashmir’s greatest mosque Jamia Masjid in Nawhatta was still closed and can open on August 18. “In coming couple of days the mosque will be opened after a cleanliness drive,” said a caretaker of the mosque.

Some urged fellow residents to not indulge in ‘blind fatalism’. “Blessed are we that these places have opened. I am so happy. But at the same time people should continue to take precautions. Their opening does not mean that the pandemic is over. People should continue to wear masks, take their own prayer rugs to the mosques, avoid handshakes, use sanitizers and maintain social distancing. Only then they should leave it to God,” said Yaqoob Ahmad, an Imam of an area mosque in Srinagar.

Officials additionally urged individuals to not decrease their guard. “Community response holds the key to fighting Pandemic. Glad to see observance of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) as religious places opened today after 5 months. Hopeful about industry, business & transport to follow the pursuit,” wrote Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Shahid Chaudhary on Twitter.

On August 4, the federal government had introduced that every one non secular locations and locations of worship can be reopened from August 16 however detailed Covid-19 SOPs must be to adopted like no giant gatherings and no touching of statues.

In the run as much as the reopening of spiritual locations, the district administration had reached out to managing committees of locations of worship of all faiths and held conferences with over 3,000 non secular heads to sensitise them about do’s and don’ts to stop unfold of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 tally in Jammu and Kashmir crossed 28,000 on Saturday night. Kashmir valley alone has over 21,000 of the circumstances. That pandemic has taken the lives of 527 individuals in the union territory out of which 486 casualties have been in Kashmir.

Markets to reopen

Officials said that from Monday markets will reopen and public transport companies will resume operations in keeping with a regulated schedule in Srinagar.

In an order, Deputy Commissioner Chaudhary lifted restrictions on enterprise and transport operations permitting a regulated resumption.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration had re-imposed lockdown restrictions in Srinagar from July 13 and remainder of the valley from July 27 as Covid-19 circumstances surged.

After a State Executive Committee order on August 4, officers have permitted reopening of 50 per cent retailers in all markets and resumption of public transport operations with a boarding of 50 per cent passengers in minibuses and as much as a most of Four passengers in 10-seater maxi-cabs and a couple of passengers in taxicabs and auto-rickshaws.

In all markets, alternate retailers will open in order to stop crowding and to allow queuing of consumers as per the suggested distancing norm.

“The district administration has full faith in the business and trading communities of the district and is sure that there will be strict compliance with all SOPs and guidelines like wearing of face masks and observance of distancing while going about their businesses,” Chaudhary said.

As for transport, no more than a 3rd of the whole variety of automobiles might be allowed to function on a selected route. There are round 80 designated public transport routes in Srinagar.

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