Pakistan to impose lockdown in Lahore, other cities as coronavirus cases witness surge

People arrive for a Sinopharm coronavirus vaccination at a vaccination center in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, March 29, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

Pakistan’s Punjab government has decided to enforce an ‘effective lockdown’ in Lahore and other parts of the province of 110 million people from April 1 to contain the rise in coronavirus cases as the COVID-19 positivity rate has soared to more than 12%.

During the lockdown that will continue till April 11, a complete ban on wedding events and other gatherings in the province has been imposed.

For the first time since the epidemic broke-out here, police registered 100 cases in Lahore for not wearing masks. The mass transit transport system, which includes the Orange Line Metro Train and the Speedo bus service, will also be closed while a complete ban on indoor and outdoor dining at all restaurants and hotels would be imposed.

However, takeaway and home delivery would be allowed, said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar during a press briefing here.

Parks will also remain closed while commercial timings for bazaars and markets have been restricted till 6 pm with Saturday and Sunday off.

“There will be restrictions on economic activities or industries as we cannot afford a complete lockdown. The construction, transport, goods and industrial sectors will continue to operate as per regular according to standard operating procedures (SOPs)," Mr Buzdar said. The chief minister said the third wave of coronavirus compare to the first two, is “much more intense” as more positive cases are being reported from Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad and Multan cities.

"Because of the third wave, hospitals are rapidly filling up and the health system is under pressure," he said.

The Punjab government on Sunday reported that coronavirus claimed 39 more lives during the past 24 hours taking the tally of total deaths in Punjab to 6,227 – around 900 deaths during the past one month. As much as 2,823 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Punjab during the past 24 hours.

In overall, Pakistan has reported 659,116 cases of coronavirus and 14,256 deaths related to the disease, Dawn reported.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 9:48:01 AM |

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