Businesses violating virus SOPs to be sealed

CM’s aide says govt monitoring post-lockdown situation

​ Our Correspondent May 12, 2020
PESHAWAR: Businesses reopened across the province on Monday as the government relaxed a lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). However, the provincial government warned that it is closely monitoring the situation and any businesses which do not follow the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for curbing the virus will be sealed.

This was stated by Adviser to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir on Monday while talking to media persons in the provincial capital.

Paying tribute to Major Muhammad Asghar, who died of Covid-19 while he on duty at the Torkham crossing on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Wazir said the country’s armed forces have always protected the nation in difficult times.

“Major Asghar sacrificed his life while protecting the nation from coronavirus,” he said.

Regarding the overall situation in the province, the adviser said that K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan is personally monitoring the situation and that the government may reimpose the strict lockdown restrictions if the public fails to follow the guidelines issued to stem the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the K-P Health Department in a statement on the microblogging network Twitter said that as many as 206 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the province over the past 24 hours, taking the provincial toll to 4,875 cases.

Of these, 62 were found among those who had returned to the country from abroad and are currently in quarantine.

At least 12 deaths were also reported in the province, including six from Peshawar, three from Mardan, one each from Swat, Upper Dir and Nowshera in the past 24 hours. As many as 130 patients recovered from the virus during this time, it added.

Covid-19 SOPs flouted

People in the provincial capital flocked markets for Eid shopping as the lockdown in the province was relaxed. The markets on University Road, Saddar, and other areas remained open beyond 4 pm, flouting timing restrictions. Disorganised parking created traffic congestion on the roads as well.

Huge traffic was also witnessed in the city after almost 50 days as people stepped out in large number. Neither the shoppers, with most of them being women and children, nor the traders followed precautionary standard operating procedures (SOPs). The situation could result in a spike in coronavirus cases. Most of the people who had come for shopping were seen not wearing gloves, facemasks and did not implement physcial distancing advice. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2020.


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