Pakistan-administered Kashmir also issues guidelines to curb mobility over Eidul Fitr in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus
The governments of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan-administered Kashmir have all announced that they are implementing “complete lockdowns” from May 8-16 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The next 15-20 days are crucial in Pakistan’s fight to control the pandemic,” Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid wrote on Twitter as she announced the province-wide lockdown measures. Urging citizens to support the government’s efforts to control the spread of coronavirus, she added: “People should celebrate Eid with simplicity and take all necessary precautions to prove they are responsible citizens.”
According to a notification issued by the Punjab government, all markets, businesses, offices and shops would remain shut except for exempted pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centers, petrol pumps, tandoors, dairies, restaurant takeaways, e-commerce, utility services, and media houses, which can remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Meanwhile, bakeries, grocery stores, sweet shops, and meat shops would be allowed to stay open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Similarly, the provincial government has reiterated bans on Chaand Raat Bazaars; indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants; indoor wedding functions—with outdoor weddings also banned in cities with positivity over 8 percent; tourism, including shopping malls and hotels and picnic spots; parks; shrines in all cities with positivity over 8 percent; large gatherings, and sports and cultural festivals.
According to the Punjab government’s notification, rail service in the province would operate at 70 percent of capacity, while interprovincial and intra-city public transport would be banned. However, private vehicles, taxis and rickshaws would be allowed to operate with 50 percent occupancy. Meanwhile, intercity public transport would be allowed on Saturday and Sunday only with 50 percent occupancy.
The government statement noted that checkpoints would be established at entry and exit points of cities, with police, Rangers and Pakistan Army officials deployed to ensure SOP compliance.
Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Information Kamran Bangash on Thursday announced that the provincial government was adhering to the National Command and Operation Center’s instructions and implementing a complete lockdown over May 8-16. A notification issued by the provincial government announced exemptions in line with the ones already announced by Punjab.
According to the notification, tandoors and dairies, takeaway food services, e-commerce, and utility services would be allowed to remain open 24/7. Meanwhile, staff, contractors and vehicles of petroleum exploration and production companies would also be allowed unhindered mobility.
Grocery shops, bakeries, and sweet shops would be allowed to remain open daily till 6 p.m. from May 8 to 16, it added.
The government of Pakistan-administered Kashmir also announced a lockdown for “mobility control measures” from May 8-16, citing the decisions taken by the NCOC last month. A notification issued by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Home Department said that all businesses and shops would remain closed over the Eid break, except essential services and commodities such as pharmacies, medical facilities and vaccination centers, petrol pumps, tyre repair shops, tandoors and dairies, takeaways, e-commerce, utility services, and media.
Similarly, it said that vegetable, fruit, chicken and meat shops, grocery stores, bakeries and sweet shops, would be allowed to remain open daily till 6 p.m.