Amid 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed by Centre to curb the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the country, a man faked his death to reach home in an ambulance in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district to jump the curfew.

Hakam Din was admitted to Government Medical College hospital last week due to an injury. After he was discharged, he conspired with three others and forged a certificate of his death to travel in a private ambulance, according to officials.

A police team intercepted the ambulance and found the man alive and subsequently arrested all the four accused. They have been sent to a quarantine facility by the police.

Several persons have been arrested across the valley in the past few days as police have taken action against those violating prohibitory orders.

Restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in Kashmir to contain the spread of coronavirus remained in force on Wednesday, as the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the union territory has surged to 55, officials said.

To minimise the movement of the people in order to contain the spread of the infection, tight curb have been put in place across the valley.

Most of the roads in the valley have been sealed off and barriers erected at several places by security forces to check the unwanted movement of the people and to enforce the lockdown for containing the spread of the infection, the officials said.

The administration has asked the people to cooperate with it and warned of action against those violating prohibitory orders..

The markets across the valley have been shut and public transport off the roads with only pharmacies and groceries allowed to open, the officials said.

Educational institutions across Kashmir have been closed, while all public places including gymnasiums, parks, clubs and restaurants have been shut down more than a week before the nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister.

The union territory administration had on March 22 announced a lockdown across Jammu and Kashmir till 31 March as part of its efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the country-wide lockdown on the evening of March 24.

The administration said essential services including healthcare personnel have been exempted from the restrictions.

District administrations have put in place a mechanism to ensure uninterrupted supplies and deliveries of essential services to the general public. Essential commodities will be home-delivered to the residents as part of the mechanism.

Restrictions were first imposed in many parts of the valley on March 19 to contain the spread of the virus infection. The measures were taken after a 67-year-old woman from Khanyar area of the city, who had returned on 16 March from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah, tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

The UT on Tuesday, saw a rise in the COVID-19 cases and the total number of positive cases in J-K have gone up to 55 with six new cases detected.

Two patients from Kashmir valley have succumbed, while two one each from Kashmir and Jammu, have recovered.

The UT administration on Tuesday, declared 20 areas in Kashmir as red zones following detection of fresh cases of COVID-19 in the valley.

The 20 areas are in Bandipora, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Shopian, Srinagar and Budgam districts of Kashmir division.