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Pakistan

Web Desk
March 13, 2021

Punjab reimposes COVID-19 restrictions as cases start increasing

Web Desk
Sat, Mar 13, 2021

The Punjab government has reimposed several COVID-19 restrictions as cases are rising to a "concerning extent".

In a notification issued on Saturday, the Punjab health department said the positivity rate in some cities is constantly rising and a third wave is looming.

The department said this "poses a serious and imminent threat to public health".

A set of restrictions was given which have been imposed under the Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act 2020.

As part of the new restrictions, all commercial activities, establishments and markets will close by 6pm on weekdays and stay completely closed on weekends.

This excludes medical services, general stores, bakeries, milk and meat shops, tire puncture shops, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors, petrol pumps, oil depots, LPG outlets and filing plants, agriculture machinery workshops and spare parts shops, printing press, call centers (with 50% staff and no public dealing).

Punjab CM Usman Buzdar, too, had tweeted about the spread in coronavirus cases being "concerning".

"According to the advice of health experts, starting from Saturday night, we have decided to implement strict coronavirus SOPs in districts with over 5% positivity rate for the next 15 days," he said.

Takeaway and home delivery from restaurants will remain open.

Wedding halls are to stay closed in Lahore, Rawalpindi. Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat from March 15.

Only outdoor functions will be allowed with a maximum of 300 guests.

There is a complete ban on indoor and outdoor dining in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat and only takeaway/ home delivery will be allowed in these cities.

Parks will close at 6pm and offices are to follow a 50% work from home policy.

Cinemas and shrines will stay closed and sports and all cultural activities will remain banned.

Indoor gatherings have been banned. Outdoor gatherings are allowed with a maximum of 50 people in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat and 300 persons (outdoor) in the rest of the province for a maximum of two hours.

Industrial activities and establishments are exempt from these restrictions.