Pakistan's Punjab govt extends smart lockdowns in COVID-19 hotspots

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Representative image
Representative image

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 13 (ANI): In view of the incessant surge in daily COVID-19 cases, authorities in Pakistan's Punjab province on Tuesday announced the extension of smart lockdowns, enforced in COVID-19 hotspots, till April 26.

Citing the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, The Express Tribune reported that the cities with a positivity ratio of more than eight per cent would have a complete ban on outdoor weddings and all celebrations whereas shrines would also remain closed to visitors.

"Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Chiniot, Hafizabad, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Pakpattan, Toba Tek Singh and Sheikhupura are among the cities with the positivity ratio of more than eight per cent," the department said.

The department added that train service across the province would continue with 70 per cent capacity. Furthermore, all business centres across the province would be closed at 6 pm (local time) while they would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.

"All entertainment venues across the province will be completely closed," the health department stated.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the provincial health department also stated that 50 per cent of staff in all government and private offices would be required to work from home, all medical services, pharmacies, medical stores, laboratories, collection points, hospitals, and clinics would remain open 24 hours a day, reported The Express Tribune.

"Chicken and meat, fish shops, bakeries, general stores, flour mills, fruit and vegetable shops, bread ovens and petrol pumps would also remain open," the provincial health department added.

At least 2,021 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Pakistan's Punjab during the past 24 hours. The country has so far reported at least 7,30,000 COVID-19 cases and 15,619 related deaths. (ANI)