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Punjab tightens COVID curbs in high disease prevalent cities


A fruit vendor waits for customers as he sells guava from a wheelbarrow along a closed market during a lockdown, following an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lahore, Pakistan. —  AFP
A fruit vendor waits for customers as he sells guava from a wheelbarrow along a closed market during a lockdown, following an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lahore, Pakistan. —  AFP
  • All business, commercial activities to remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Outdoor dining and weddings allowed till 10pm; shrines and gyms to remain closed.
  • Offices allowed to resume normal working hours with 50% attendance.

LAHORE: The Punjab government has tightened COVID-19 curbs in high disease prevalent cities of the province. 

The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHCD) issued a notification, stating that business and commercial activities shall continue till 8pm in the said districts of the province.

As per the notification, the restrictions come into force with immediate effect and will remain in force till September 12, 2021.

“This order shall come into force with immediate effect in the territorial limits of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Khanewal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, and Rahim Yar Khan, and shall remain in force till September 12, 2021,” read the notification.

However, the previous order issued by the department, dated September 1, 2021, easing lockdown restrictions in 15 districts of Punjab will remain in force till further order, it added.

All the trade and business activities will remain suspended on Saturdays and Sundays till further notice.

Essential services such as pharmacies, medical stores, other medical facilities, and vaccination centres; industrial and agriculture industries; petrol pumps, bakeries, milk shops, e-commerce services and others; are exempt from the restricted timings and will function 24 hours a day for the entire week, the notification said.

Hotels and Restaurants

Under the tightened curbs, there will be a complete ban on indoor dining. However, restaurants, hotels, and other eateries will be allowed to offer outdoor dining till 10pm.

Weddings and events

With the new orders, there will be a complete ban on indoor weddings or functions, with an exception of outdoor wedding functions, with a maximum capacity of 300 guests.

Offices and transport

All the public and private offices and establishments will be allowed to function normally, however, with only 50% attendance. For public transport, there will be a complete ban on intercity transport while the intra-city public transport will be allowed to function with occupancy level reduced from 70% to 50%.

The railways shall continue to operate with a maximum occupancy of 70%.

Other activities

Gyms, shrines, cinemas, sports activities, recreation activity spots, and indoor gatherings for cultural, religious and miscellaneous events will be completely banned. However, public parks shall remain open.

All the services and activities allowed to operate under the notification will be subjected to the strict implementation of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures.

Punjab eases lockdown restrictions in 15 districts 

On Wednesday, the health department issued a notification stating that the lockdown restrictions have been eased in 15 districts of Punjab till September 15, except for the high disease prevalent cities. 

Last time the Punjab government had imposed a lockdown in Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad was on August 3, which was to remain in effect till August 31.

The decision to reimpose restrictions at the time was taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) after reviewing the worsening situation of the pandemic in the country.

 



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