Lockdown to last till April 30 in ICT

Ban on markets stays; tailors, carpenters can work individually


​ Our Correspondents April 16, 2020
Vehicles run past the Centaurus mall in Islamabad, Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration on Wednesday extended a lockdown imposed in the federal capital under Section 144 for two more until April 30. It follows directions to this effect issued by the federal government on Tuesday.

A notification issued on Wednesday read that the ban on public gatherings and public transport across the capital city will remain in place.

Markets, shopping malls, and restaurants located in the federal capital will continue to be closed while all social and religious events, sports festivals, gyms and snooker clubs will also remain closed. Wedding ceremonies at wedding halls, educational institutions such as schools, colleges, coaching centres, vocational institutes, universities and religious seminaries will also remain shut during this time. All exams have been postponed.

The notification further said that an exemption to these regulations will be granted to personnel of law enforcement agencies, certain government departments, health workers. Essential employees of utility companies, municipal bodies, the Wapda, NTDC, IESCO and the SNGPL, mobile companies, franchise and customer service staff will also be allowed.

Essential employees of PTCL and those who maintain its towers, employees of essential industries will be able to perform the duties. Employees of the SECP, CDC, the Mercantile Exchange and others, will work with minimum staff.

Foreign diplomats and their local staff will be allowed to move about for work. Institutions with laboratories will be allowed to operate specific faculties.

The notification further said that funeral prayers and subsequent gatherings will also be subject to permission from the district administration. Call centres, e-commerce businesses and local delivery companies will be allowed to open but with only 50% of staff.

Private and public banks with their essential staff, retail stores, general, grocery stores, bakeries, flour mills, dairy shops, meat, fish, fruit and vegetable vendors, tandoors, auto workshops, tyre shops, spare parts, petrol pumps, oil depots, gas cylinder filling outlets and supermarkets will remain open but they will have to execute the SOPs.

Postal and courier services, pick and drop services can also operate. Customs, dry ports operations will be allowed to operate. Poultry feed, personal protection equipment manufacturers and suppliers, refineries will also be allowed.

Those distributing rations will be allowed but with minimum staff. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, tailors and barbers will be allowed to venture out for work individually.

Only two people from each home will be allowed to venture out to purchase essential items. Everyone must carry their computerised identity card for authentication.

An attendant can accompany a patient to the doctor. The notification further states that stores that are allowed to operate can do so from 9am to 5pm and will have to maintain social distance between customers. However, milk and meat shops will be allowed to open until 8pm.

Third BBH doctor tests positive

Another doctor at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), taking the number of infected medical practitioners at the healthcare facility to three.

The latest patient was working in the same ward as the other two medical practitioners.

After the doctor’s test reports came back positive on Wednesday, her house in RMC Colony was sealed and her family was quarantined there. Meanwhile, the doctor was shifted to RIUKT for treatment.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2020.

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