Tuesday Dec 29, 2020
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.
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:
(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.
(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.
The following areas, according to the Punjab government, have been placed under lockdown till January 10, 2021.
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.
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."