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For second consecutive year, SBP not to issue new banknotes on Eid ul Fitr

SBP says decision to not issue new notes taken due to the coronavirus pandemic

By Web Desk
April 29, 2021
A person counting new, Rs5,000 notes. Photo: File

Once again due to the coronavirus pandemic, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced on Thursday that it will not be issuing new banknotes on Eid ul Fitr.

“Like last year, we will not be issuing new banknotes on Eid ul Fitr due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” said the central bank in a statement.

The regulator issues new notes Eid every year as people want to give Eidi to kids using new banknotes.

However, this year the government is urging people not to celebrate Eid with the usual grandeur due to a dangerous third wave of COVID-19.

The SBP's statement also came as Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio jumped to 9.6% on Thursday after the country reported over 5,000 new infections.

According to the official data provided by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 5,480 people tested positive for the coronavirus, after 57,013 tests were conducted across the country.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 815,711, with most cases reported in Punjab.

The number of recoveries nationwide has reached 708,193 so far, while the number of active cases in the country stands at 89,838 as of today.

A day earlier, Pakistan reported the highest single-day death toll recorded since the pandemic started last year with over 200 new fatalities.

Authorities to impose complete lockdown in 20 cities

Keeping in view the swamping infections, the government is mulling over imposing a lockdown in 20 cities from 2/3 May.

A list mentioned 20 cities across Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Azad Jammu, and Kashmir, where the coronavirus situation is extremely bad and the restrictions imposed by the authorities have failed to control the virus spread.

The cities where the lockdown might be imposed include Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Dir Lower, Mardan, Nowshera, Malakand, Charsadda, Swat, Swabi, Muzaffarabad, Sudhnuti, Poonch, and Bagh.

The COVID-19 apex body has directed the local administration to forward their input for necessary action.