SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

The government in the Indian-administered Kashmir decided Saturday to treat the 10 districts of the Kashmir region as red zones, or hotspots, to effectively combat COVID-19 infections.

The decision came after the Indian health ministry classified only four districts as red zones.

Regional Divisional Commissioner Pandurang Pole told Anadolu Agency that given the spike in the number of cases there are red zones in every district and infections are not showing any downward trend.

“At this point of time we cannot afford to lower the guard. All the 10 districts of the region will be treated as the red zones until further orders,” the official said.

While extending the lockdown by two weeks, the Indian health ministry issued guidelines to regulate activities falling into red, green and orange zones.

In red zones, the ministry allowed industrial and construction activities while all shops, except in shopping malls, were permitted. Agricultural activities are also allowed.

Air travel and interstate movement by road will remain banned except if permitted by the ministry.

All educational and training institutes will also stay shut, as will hospitality services, the ministry said.

The region has reported 666 positive cases, eight deaths and 254 recoveries.

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