The Punjab government has tightened restrictions across the province to control the prevalence rate of the third wave of COVID-19.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced the new restrictions at a press conference on Monday. The decision was made during a Cabinet Committee’s meeting to review the pandemic situation. Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Dr. Yasmin Rahsid, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Raas, Yasir Humayon, Firdous Ashiq Awan, and other senior government officials also attended the meeting.
Under the new restrictions, mass transit, wedding ceremonies, indoor and outdoor gatherings, and other recreational activities have been banned across the province.
Further, all restaurants will be barred from offering indoor or outdoor dining. However, the takeaway and delivery options will remain open. All commercial activities will be closed down at 6 pm and will remain completely closed on weekends. However, the economic sectors are exempted from these restrictions for as long as they strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
As per the previous decision, all shrines and cinemas will remain closed until further orders. All public and private offices will follow the 50% work from home policy, whereas, large gatherings, sports, and cultural events will also remain suspended across the province.
The services that are allowed to work 24 hours a day include medical stores/pharmacies, karyana stores, meat/chicken shops, tire puncture shops, fruit, vegetable and milk shops, flour mills, tandoors, courier and postal services, etc.
The Chief Minister urged the masses to behave responsibly and follow COVID-19 SOPs set by the health authorities.
We cannot control the pandemic without help from the masses.
The new restrictions will be effective from 1st to 11th April 2021, subject to extension based on the pandemic situation.
The third wave of COVID-19 is running rampant across the province, despite smart lockdowns and other restrictions.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister (SACM) on Information, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said that people are not following the coronavirus SOPs due to which the coronavirus situation is worsening in Lahore and five other districts where smart lockdowns were imposed.
As a result, the government has started taking serious actions against the violators. During the last 24 hours, the Lahore administration has filed nearly 100 cases over SOP violations.