COVID-19: As panic grips Kashmir, train, public transport services suspended

Last Updated 19 March 2020, 11:20 IST

As panic gripped Kashmir after an elderly woman tested positive for novel coronavirus last evening, authorities on Thursday suspended train and public transport services as a precautionary measure.

An official of the railway department said that on the instructions of Inspector General Police (IGP) Kashmir in view of COVID-19, the train services from Banihal to Baramulla and vice-versa will remain suspended with immediate effect till March 31.

Earlier the IGP in the letter to Chief Area Manager, northern railways, Budgam said: “In view of the spread of coronavirus apprehensions in the valley, as a precautionary measure, the Banihal-Baramulla and vice-versa rail service may please be suspended with immediate effect till March 31.”

Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir has also imposed a ban on all forms of public transport within Srinagar city while also banning entry of any public transport vehicle from adjoining districts of the summer capital of the union territory.

These decisions were taken a day after a 67-year-old woman, who had returned from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah (minor Hajj) on March 16, was tested positive for deadly coronavirus. For two days, the lady, who lives in congested Khanyar area of old city Srinagar, received a number of visitors - relatives and neighbours - and it will be a tough task for health officials to track all of them down.

“It is an uphill task for the administration and health officials to track down everyone who has come in contact with the patient over the past couple of days,” a senior health official said.

So-far four positive cases of coronavirus have been reported from the Union Territory (UT) – three from Jammu and one from Kashmir. Neighbouriing Ladakh UT has reported eight positive cases.

(Published 19 March 2020, 11:10 IST)

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