A rapid increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Punjab has forced the provincial government to further tighten its lockdown to control to spread.
On Tuesday, Punjab reported 25 new cases of COVID-19 with nine deaths, taking the provincial tally to 667, demanding drastic measures from the authorities.
Responding timely, Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar announced to shorten the relaxation hours of the lockdown in a press conference on Tuesday. The strategy more or less resembles that of Sindh and will be in effect from today.
As per Buzdar’s announcement, all grocery and general stores across the province will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm. Those violating the lockdown will be strictly dealt with. Medical stores and pharmacies, however, will be exempt from the new timing. Previously, the retailers were allowed to operate until 8 pm.
صوبہ بھر میں کریانہ، گروسری اور جنرل سٹور وغیرہ کے نئے اوقات کار مقرر:
▪︎ جنرل سٹور، گروسری اور کریانے کی دکانیں صبح 9 بجے سے شام 5 بجے تک کھلیں گی۔
▪︎ میڈیکل سٹور اور فارمیسی کو نئے اوقات کار کی پابندی سے استثنیٰ حاصل ہوگا۔
نئے اوقات کار پر یکم اپریل سے عملدرآمد شروع ہوگا۔
— Government of Punjab (@GOPunjabPK) March 31, 2020
CM Buzdar said that the government is taking all possible measures to protect the health and life of its citizens.
In another significant development, Punjab administration sealed the entire Raiwind city after several cases of the deadly virus were diagnosed there. As of now, 27 people have tested positive, while others are being tested. Those affected have been shifted to Kala Shah Kaku and Kasur quarantine facilities.
Meanwhile, all shops, general and medical stores have been closed with no one allowed to leave home. The entire city has been declared a quarantine facility. The authorities will mobilize for those in need of ration or other household items.