The Government of Punjab has reimposed a two-week-long smart lockdown in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujrat, Gujranwala, and Sargodha due to the surge in coronavirus infections that are also being attributed to the transmission of the UK variant of the virus.
The provincial Chief Minister (CM), Sardar Usman Buzdar, said,
According to the advice of health experts, starting from Saturday night, we have decided to implement strict coronavirus SOPs in districts with over five percent positivity rate for the next 15 days. Educational institutions, parks, indoor ceremonies, and mazars will remain closed for 15 days.
CM Buzdar declared that marketplaces in the districts with the highest positivity ratios of coronavirus cases will close at 6 PM and will be completely closed on the weekends.
This excludes medical services and pharmacies, bakeries general/karyana stores, milk/meat/chicken shops, tire repair workshops, greengrocers, tandoors/atta chakkies, postal services, driver hotels, petrol pumps, oil depots, LPG outlets and filing plants, agriculture machinery workshops and spare parts shops, printing presses, and call centers.
Besides these announcements, the Punjab Health Department has issued a notification that reads:
The positivity rate in some cities is constantly rising and the third wave is looming, which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health.
According to the notification, wedding halls will stay closed in the seven districts and outdoor functions will only be permitted with a maximum of 300 guests. Similarly, a complete ban has been placed on indoor and outdoor dining in these districts but takeaway and home delivery are allowed.
All the citizens of Punjab are directed to follow the SOPs and use face masks in public spaces.