More than 8 million people living in Kashmir, a region in India, can not find the Koronai pandemic online, nor can they work from home or attend classes online courses.
Kashmir has entered a “digital black hole ”in August, when the nationalist government of India revoked an article of the country’s constitution that secured some autonomy in the region and closed all communications, including the Internet and telephone lines. The government justified the move by saying it did so to avoid war and limit the misinformation. But critics have said the government's move was aimed at stifling dissent and pluralism. In March, the government finally reintroduced the internet to the region, but with very limited speeds that make it almost impossible access to something else beyond them messages in application of WhatsApp.
A new government order, made known a few days ago, further increased Internet speed restrictions until March 26 to "prevent the misuse and misuse of SOCIAL MEDIAFollowing the recent terrorist activities in the region. However, locals reported that the restrictions on speed Internet access is unacceptable, especially at a time when access to timely and reliable information related to the coronary pandemic is necessary.
Indicatively, Nayeem Rather, a writer from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, told BuzzFeed News that it doesn't even have access to basics sites providing information and advice on the Coronation Pandemic, adding that most people in Kashmir really have no information about the Coronation or about developments around the world.
In addition, Mir Moien, a medical student from Orissa of Kashmir, said the most he can do now is search for Google to be informed about the coronavirus pandemic, without however being able to "click" on any search result to read more information. Moien added that in the WhatsApp application, which is used by most Indians for communication, most of the information about the pandemic comes from diagrams and videos that are impossible to load due to slowing down networks. 4G. Instead of the internet, Kashmiri residents rely on TV news, radio alerts and awareness posters that authorities have put in public places to inform people about the pandemic, but locals have told BuzzFeed News the measures are not very effective, pointing out that most television reports focus on politicians and their promises of citizen safety, while there is no information on where people to go for a coronary exam and also what measures they should take to prevent the virus from spreading.
The Kashmir authorities publish on Twitter tips and videos urging citizens to wash their hands and participate in social distancing to limit the spread of the virus, but the low speed of the Internet does not allow the majority of Kashmiris to see them.
In particular, it was noted that the messages that the government wants to convey about the Corona pandemic do not reach the people, because the government itself has "hit" the Internet. In addition, the lack of reliable information has led to misinformation about Coronaios that it can spread to Kashmir from both WhatsApp and word of mouth. Another rumor has it that eating onions and garlic improves the immune system's defense against the virus. Another said that "herbal medicines cure him COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus ”. The worst thing about this situation is that the people of Kashmir do not have the ability to control which of them is valid and which is not, resulting in panic.
Masrat Zahra, a photographer in Srinagar, told BuzzFeed News he was trying to watch a video on YouTube on the right way to wash his hands, put on a mask and take other protective measures, but he did not succeed, as this requires high speed internet. She also said that she is scared at the idea that she will be "trapped" in her house having "bad" Internet, since she will not be able to communicate with relatives and friends.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Corona's "pandemic" last week, cases in India remain at remarkably low rates. On Wednesday, it was reported that the confirmed cases in the country were 147, while there were 3 deaths. However, in Kashmir, where more than 2.000 people have been quarantined, locals fear a lack of high-speed internet access will make matters worse. But the most important thing is that people have no idea about the urgency of the situation.