With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the coronavirus outbreak, a pandemic, extensive precautionary measures are being taken to contain the deadly virus. The Jammu and Kashmir government has implemented extensive measures including shutting down of schools, imposing travel bans and introducing a system of regular checks.
In an attempt to counter spread of the deadly virus and also consider ways to continue with religious activities, the District Magistrate Srinagar, Shahid Choudhary, IAS officer announced that all places of worship, which include mosques, Gurudwaras, temples and churches, will remain shut and appealed to people to read prayers from their houses.
The J&K administration has asked people not to visit mosques and other places of faith for congregational prayers in view of the coronavirus pandemic. In a series of tweet, the District Magistrate said, "Closure of all religious places in Srinagar is under way. With active cooperation of Managenent committees. Revered shrines Hazratbal, Naqshband Saheb show the way."
"Dastgeer Saheb , Gurudwara Saheb Chhati Padshahi and others. Mosques follow. Thankful to officials on ground and all management committees."
Places of worship give green signal
Reknowned mosques and shrines of Srinagar like Hazratbal shrine, Naqshband Sahab shrine, Dastgeer Sahib shrine and Chattipadshahi gurdwara decided to give a green signal to this decision and abided by the decision of the J&K administration.
In order to maintain the law and order, officers have been allotted to their respective areas eo ensure closure mosques, gurudwaras, templeas and churches.
On Tuesday, March 24 Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid headed by moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also asked people to read namaz from their houses.
"In light of the Islamic teachings and as is a precedent in the Islamic history during such times, Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid appeals to people to offer Namaz at home, as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. The Anjuman has already suspended all congregational prayers at Jama Masjid Srinagar for the time being," a spokesman of the anjuman said in a statement.
First Covid-19 death in J&K, cases rise to 11
The first COVID-19 death occurred in Srinagar after a patient who had tested positive earlier succumbed on Thursday in the hospital. The 65-year old COVID-19 positive patient was treated at the Chest Diseases (CD) Hospital in Srinagar city.
The patient, a resident of Hyderpora in Srinagar, previously took part in the 'Tabligi Jamaat' (Religious congregation) which was attended by people from Indonesia and Malaysia after which he headed to the Valley.
With this death of an infected patient, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases is now 11 in the union territory out of whom seven are being treated in Srinagar and three in Jammu city. 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 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.