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Punjab govt extends smart lockdowns in Covid-19 hotpots till April 26

LAHORE: Punjab government’s authorities have announced the extension of smart lockdowns, enforced in Covid-19 hotspots, till April 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases.

According to a notification issued by the provincial health department on Tuesday, cities with a positivity ratio of more than eight percent would have a complete ban on outdoor weddings and all celebrations whereas shrines would also remain closed to visitors.

“Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Gujranwala, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Chiniot, Hafizabad, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Pakpattan, Toba Tek Singh and Sheikhupura are among the cities with the positivity ratio of more than eight percent,” the notification said.

Train service across the province would continue with 70% capacity, it added. Moreover, all business centers across the province would be closed at 6 pm while they would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. All entertainment venues across the province will be completely closed, the provincial health department stated.

The SOPs by the provincial health department also stated that 50 percent of staff in all government and private offices would be required to work from home, All medical services, pharmacies, medical stores, laboratories, collection points, hospitals and clinics would remain open 24 hours a day.

“Chicken and meat, fish shops, bakeries, general stores, flour mills, fruit and vegetable shops, bread ovens and petrol pumps would also remain open,” it added.

The health sector also urged to strictly follow the Covid-19 SOPs and maintain social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

At least 2,021 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Punjab during the past 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 252,974.

According to the provincial health care department, at least 74 more patients succumbed to the pandemic as the total reached 7,062.