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Saturday Mar 13 2021
By
Web Desk

Punjab ramping up restrictions as coronavirus cases spike

By
Web Desk
The restrictions are being put in place under the Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act 2020. Photo: AFP
  • Punjab reimposes coronavirus restrictions as cases start increasing
  • Provincial health department says positivity rate in some cities is constantly rising and third wave is looming
  • CM Usman Buzdar says COVID-19 cases, especially the UK variant, spreading across the province at a concerning rate


Coronavirus cases are going up again and the Punjab government has decided to reimpose several restrictions in different districts of the province.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar tweeted an update on the new restrictions, saying that COVID-19 cases, especially the UK variant, were spreading across the province.

"According to the advice of health experts, starting from Saturday night, we have decided to implement strict coronavirus SOPs in districts with over 5% positivity rate for the next 15 days," he said.

The Punjab health department issued a notification detailing the restrictions and situation across the province on Saturday.

"The positivity rate in some cities is constantly rising and third wave is looming, which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health," the notification read.

Read more: Data Darbar among 547 shrines in Punjab closed amid rising coronavirus cases

The restrictions are being put in place under the Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act 2020.

Here's what is allowed and what isn't:

  • All commercial activities, establishments and markets will close by 6pm on weekdays and completely closed on weekends.
  • This excludes medical services, general stores, bakeries, milk and meat shops, tire puncture shops, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors, petrol pumps, oil depots, LPG outlets and filing plants, agriculture machinery workshops and spare parts shops, printing press, call centers (with 50% staff and no public dealing).
  • Takeaway and home delivery from restaurants will remain open.
  • Wedding halls are to stay closed in Lahore, Rawalpindi. Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat from March 15.
  • Only outdoor weddings will be allowed with a maximum of 300 guests.
  • There is a complete ban on indoor and outdoor dining in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat and only takeaway/ home delivery will be allowed in these cities.
  • Parks will close at 6pm.
  • Offices are to follow a 50% work from home policy.
  • Cinemas and shrines will stay closed.
  • Large gatherings indoors have been banned. Outdoor gatherings (other than weddings) are allowed with a maximum of 50 people in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat and 300 persons in the rest of the province for a maximum of two hours.
  • Sports and all cultural activities will remain banned.
  • Industrial activities and establishments are exempt from these restrictions.

547 Punjab shrines shut as COVID-19 cases increase

The Punjab Auqaf department announced Saturday that Lahore’s Data Darbar and other shrines have been closed for devotees due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.

The Auqaf department said that, in total, 547 shrines located across the province have been closed to stem the rising coronavirus cases. They added that the shrines will be closed till April 15.

Read more: Lahore among five Punjab districts declared 'high risk' after UK virus variant spreads

The manager of the Data Darbar said the shrine’s mosque will only open for prayers. He added that all the coronavirus standard operating procedures will be followed during the prayers.

You can read the full story here.

Lahore at 'high risk' from UK virus variant spread

Five districts in Punjab have been declared as "high risk" after the coronavirus spread in the province increased, as per Geo News.

In Lahore, the coronavirus positivity ratio has reached 12.67%, while 991 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours — the highest number of infections reported in the city in a year.

As many as 94,292 people have contracted the virus in Lahore, and 2,303 patients have lost their lives to the disease.

You can read the full story here.