Lal chowk Kashmir
Despite rise in cases, people throng streets of Lal Chowk, Kashmir. Image credits: Basit Zargar @basiitzargar/Twitter

In the backdrop of the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision of relaxing the COVID-related lockdown allowing people to buy essentials on Eid-ul-Adha eve, Srinagar witnessed shoppers thronging streets of Lal Chowk to purchase essentials before the lockdown is re-imposed. 

An unmasked cart seller bargaining with the shoppers who are being brushed past by other passersby amidst the hustle-bustle of the market, this scenario speaks volumes about the drastically multiplying Coronavirus cases in the Valley

Even as the death toll has hit 358 in the Valley and the current positive cases have surged to 18,879, people in large numbers are seen defying protocols of social distancing, wearing masks and other COVID advisories. 

The pictures captured by Basit Zargar has sparked debate on social media as to why are lockdowns even lifted if a particular area is a hotspot. 

Despite 18,876 cases, makeshift sacrificial animal markets & bakeries remain crowded

On the occasion of Eid, people were also seen thronging makeshift sacrificial animal markets in Srinagar city. Bakeries in Kashmir see a large number of shoppers and during the COVID lockdown, many are spotted mingling during the purchase, as per reports.

As the authorities have decided to relax the lockdown restrictions in Kashmir for three days from Tuesday to allow people to make purchases ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha festival on Saturday, August 1. All masjids and shrines will remain closed for prayers.

Lal chowk Kashmir
Image credits: Basit Zargar @basitzargar/Twitter

Officials said that all the masjids and shrines will remain closed for prayers. The sale of animals will not be allowed on July 31, a day ahead of the festival. 

Despite advisories that order the street vendors and stalls to maintain spacing so as to avoid crowding and religious leaders asking people to maintain protocol there seem to be no stopping people.  Many local doctors and government officials are expressing shock and indignation over the behaviour of the people in markets and streets.

The J-K administration had on July 22 re-imposed lockdown restrictions for six days in nine out of the 10 districts of the Kashmir valley after a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.