Tuesday Dec 29 2020
Web Desk

Punjab govt imposes smart lockdown in Lahore's coronavirus hotspot areas

Web Desk
In this file photo, people stand in circles drawn with chalk to maintain safe distance outside a bank in Lahore. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government has imposed a smart lockdown in district Lahore, controlling the entry and exit of people in certain areas of the city identified as "coronavirus hotspots" on Tuesday. 

"There has been a constant increase in positivity percentage and prevalence of COVID-19 in the Province of Punjab during last two weeks which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health," read a notification from the Primary and Secondary Health Department issued today. 

Read more: Those who attended PDM's Lahore rally should self-quarantine, says Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid

The lockdown, according to the provincial government, has been imposed in targeted areas of the city till January 10, 2021.

According to the directives by the health department:

  • All markets, shopping malls, restaurants, offices (public and private) shall remain closed in the areas identified
  • There shall be a complete ban on movement of people to and from these areas by public and private transport except for limited movement of one person per vehicle to and from the exempted facilities
  • There shall also be a complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private throughout these areas.
  • In the closed areas the following shall be exempted from this order:

(a). Grocery stores, general/karyana stores, atta chakkis, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors & petrol pumps. These shall remain open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, throughout the week. 

Read more: Exchange of gunfire over violation of coronavirus SOPs leaves 5 injured in Lahore

(b). All medical services, pharmacies and medical stores, laboaratories and collection points, hospitals, clinics and bakeries shall remain open 24/7 throughout the week. 

(c). Milk shops, chicken and meat/fish shops will remain open from 7:00AM to 7:00PM throughout the week. 

Which areas have been placed under lockdown?

The following areas, according to the Punjab government, have been placed under lockdown till January 10, 2021. 

The notification issued for the lockdown. 

New strain of coronavirus reaches Pakistan

The development came a few hours after Pakistan's first three cases of the new coronavirus strain were detected in the port city of Karachi earlier today. 

Read more: 3 cases of more infectious 'UK strain' of coronavirus detected in Sindh

The new strain, referred to by some experts as the B.1.17 lineage, is not the first variant of COVID-19 pandemic, but it is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain in the UK.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Sindh Health Department had said the new COVID-19 variant has been identified in samples taken from three passengers who recently returned from Britain.

The health department said it took samples of 12 UK returnees for genotyping out of which six tested positive for the coronavirus. "Three showed the new variant for the COVID-19 in the first phase of testing."