Any restaurant, food stall found open will be prosecuted: Srinagar Mayor


Srinagar, Asking people to cooperate voluntarily to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu on Wednesday warned of strict actions against any restaurant or food stall found to be open in the city.“Any restaurant/food stall that remains open will be prosecuted under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Enforcement teams of District Administration, SMC and Jammu and Kashmir Police have been sent out across the city. Please cooperate voluntarily. This shouldn’t require penal action,” Mr Mattu wrote on his official twitter handle.“We aren’t limiting crowds at all places - OPDs, public offices for instance. We aren’t testing proactively and enough. The mantra needs to be - 3Ts - Trace, Test and Treat. Are we tracing proactively?” he said.

“We aren’t preparing for the worst. We need to ensure guidelines are enforced by the Police. Restaurants and shopping malls need to be sealed and shut,” he said.Mr Mattu said people need to ensure social distancing at all costs - even Sec 144 is an option. “We need to cut the red-tape. All of us need to act collaboratively/ We need to be completely transparent in conveying the limitations of our healthcare infrastructure,” he said.He said experts need to plan quarantine protocols and logistics - epidemiologists and virologists. “We need to shut non-essential offices, institutions, government and private,” he added.
“Panic better than regret in such scenarios. Italy a sad example. So is Iran. They acted late,” he added.He said the entry of visitors to the State should be stopped. “Residents should be thoroughly screened and quarantined (if needed) at entry points - Delhi and Mumbai have done it,” he said.

He said frontline healthcare workers - doctors, nurses -- need to be fully protected and equipped for the worst possible scenario. Hazmat suits, protective gear needs to be stocked. “The Health Department needs to augment it’s capacities to deal with a contagion stage,” he said.The Mayor said most importantly - every single agency, department, office needs to come together and collaborate on a day-to-day if not hourly basis. “There is far too much at stake to bother about jurisdictions and administrative processes/protocols - the Disaster Mgmt Act an example,” he added.The authorities on Tuesday issued a list of measures, including closure of educational institutes, hotels, gardens, food carts and saloons, under Disaster Management Act to contain the spread of Coronavirus in Srinagar, where so far no one has been tested positive for the disease.

District Magistrate, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary on Tuesday said that a notification has been issued under the Disaster Management Act for measures aimed at containment of Coronavirus spread in Srinagar. “All medical colleges, universities, coaching centres and other educational institutions — government and private — shall continue to remain closed till further orders. The Heads of departments/institutions shall devise/submit proposal for televised coaching/classes at least by March 20 which shall be supported/financed by the district administration of Srinagar,” the order read.It said that all Hostels and Canteens shall remain closed till further notice.