Wednesday Mar 25 2020
Web Desk

Islamabad goes under virtual lockdown to contain spread of coronavirus

Web Desk
Pakistan's national flags flutter on an army convoy patrolling during a partial lockdown after Pakistan shut all markets, public places and discouraged large gatherings amid an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Islamabad, Pakistan March 24, 2020. -Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The administration of the federal capital on Wednesday imposed strict measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus amid a rise in the number of positive cases from the city. 

According to health officials, 15 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Islamabad. On Tuesday, the District Magistrate of Islamabad notified the closure of all markets, shopping malls, restaurants, and private offices in the city.

There shall be a complete ban on intra-city, inter-district, and inter-province movement of people by public transport, the order released by the district authority outlined. 

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However, soup kitchens and shelters for the poor shall remain functional in the city, the order stipulated. The authorities will also establish ration warehouses for the needy and underprivileged, it added. 

Like in other parts of the country, essential services including hospitals, utilities, banks and grocery stores are allowed to function, the order underlined.

The metro bus service will be functional on select days and on specific times during the day only, but passengers have been advised to sit at a distance from one another, according to the released notification. 

A complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for social, religious, or any other purpose, whether they be public or private, has also been notified. 

Pakistan Army has been deployed in all the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan to help the civil administration as the number of patients of the virus continues to rise at an exponential rate across the country.

Read also: Karachi shops to close from 8:00pm to 8:00am

Flag march for virus awareness

A flag march by personnel of Islamabad police, the district administration, Pakistan Army, and Rangers was conducted in the capital for awareness against coronavirus on Tuesday. 

The flag march started from Pakistan Sports Complex and culminated at the same point after passing through various areas of the city on Tuesday afternoon. 

On the occasion, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad, Muhammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, said that the purpose of the campaign was to create awareness against the epidemic. 

"All institutions responsible for law enforcement are ensuring protection to lives and property of the citizens. People should restrict themselves at their homes and avoid unnecessary movement," he said.