Punjab to further tighten restrictions in Covid-19 hotspots

All necessary steps to be taken to maintain uninterrupted supply of oxygen, says Firdous Ashiq Awan


DNA/news Desk April 28, 2021

LAHORE:

In view of the third and potentially more dangerous wave of coronavirus, the Punjab government on Wednesday decided that more stringent restrictions will be imposed in cities with high positivity ratio of Covid-19.

The decision was taken during a provincial apex committee meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Special Assistant to CM Punjab Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, in a series of tweets, said that it was decided during the meeting that strict implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be ensured while restrictions would be tightened in cities with positivity rate higher than 8%.

She said that during the meeting, while reviewing the proposal to allocate hospitals in major cities for coronavirus patients, it was decided that all necessary steps would be taken to maintain uninterrupted supply of oxygen. "Hoarding or overcharging for oxygen cylinders will be prosecuted," she added.

Firdous said that closing hours of shops and markets will be effectively enforced while violations of measures taken for the protection of the people will not be tolerated.

Also read: Sindh govt extends Covid restrictions till May 16

She further said that all business activities except medical stores, petrol pumps, vaccination centres and other essential services will remain closed from 6pm till Sehr (dawn).

Punjab reported at least 2,676 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 296,144.

127 more patients succumbed to the deadly virus as the death toll surged to 8,224.

On Saturday, the provincial government had notified extension in restrictions till May 17 to contain the spread of Covid-19.

As per the notification issued by the Primary and Secondary Health Care Department, the restrictions were tightened in 19 districts of the province including Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Also read: Punjab closes colleges in 25 districts to stem coronavirus upswing

All kinds of gatherings (indoor and outdoor) will remain banned, including social, cultural, political, sports and miscellaneous events.

“There shall be a complete ban on indoor and outdoor dining and only takeaway/home delivery shall be allowed,” read the communiqué.

The notification states that the business activities will be allowed till 6pm on weekdays and will remain completely shut two days a week.

Earlier, the government also ordered the closure of colleges in 25 districts of the province.

According to a notification, colleges in Rawalpindi, Lahore, Toba Tek Singh, Rahim Yar Khan, DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Sheikhupura, Sahiwal, Sialkot, Sargodha, Multan, Okara, Jhang, Khanewal, Kasur, Bahawalnagar, Chakwal, Bhakkar, Faizabad, Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Khushab, Lodhran, Mandi Bahauddin, Pakpattan will remain closed.

It said that colleges have been closed in districts where the coronavirus positivity ratio is over five per cent.

Universities in these districts will continue their educational activities as per the SOPs issued by the Higher Education Commission, the notification further read.

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