Home Department says decision on extension taken due to rising number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases
The Balochistan government on Tuesday announced it was extending existing lockdown restrictions till June 2 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Explaining that the decision to extend movement restrictions was taken due to a rising number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in the province, the Home and Tribal Affairs Department said: “Lockdown will remain in force from May 19 to June 2 across Balochistan.”
The statement warns that there could be devastating consequences of ending the lockdown at this point in time. “Disease may cause devastating consequences, illness and deaths,” it added.
According to the official notification, bans on all public gatherings, inter-city and inter-province travel and religious congregations would remain in place, and strict action would be taken against anyone who violates the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.
Further, read the notification, there were sufficient grounds to proceed under Section 144 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, as an immediate preventive and speedy remedy to ensure public safety, conserve lives and maintain peace and tranquility in the province.
“It is mandatory to take all pragmatic and possible measures to contain and counter the further spread of coronavirus on a war footing,” it added.
The notification said no religious and social gatherings, ceremonies, or functions—except the already notified Taravih and Eid prayers—would be allowed, adding that even the special prayers would be bound by the 20-point SOPs devised by the government and ulema.
The Balochistan government, alongside Sindh, has yet to resume public transport in the province, and has differed from the federal government’s decision to resume road and rail services. Last week, it advised people against traveling by public transport, fearing it could result in the virus spreading among remote communities of the province.