Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir”s Samba on Thursday announced a five-day lockdown in the district to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The lockdown from August 28 to September 1 midnight was ordered by Samba District Magistrate Rohit Khajuria, officials said.

Quoting an order issued by Khajuria, the officials said the step was taken in view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases.

However, the essential services like clinics, chemist shops and testing laboratories would function from 9 am to 8 pm during the lockdown days, while grocery shops, fruit and vegetables shops would be allowed to open from 7 am to 12 noon, the officials said.

They said retail and wholesale licensed shops of pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers, ration shops, LPG agencies and animal fodder shops would operate from 9 am to 1 pm.

Operations in the industrial area and movement of labour or staff of industries and government employees will remain unhindered, the officials said.