Punjab imposes further COVID restrictions, businesses to close at 6pm

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Lahore (Staff Report/Agencies): The Punjab government has imposed further restriction to limit the third wave of the novel coronavirus.

Addressing a press conference after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said at least 2,823 new COVID-19 infections were recorded on March 27, surpassing the previous record of 2,705 set on July 12.

The minister said the provincial government will not impose any restrictions on economic activities or industries. “The construction, transport, goods and industrial sectors will continue to operate as per regular according to standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he added.

However, lockdowns will be enforced in districts with a Covid-19 positivity of more than 12 per cent to curb the spread of the disease from April 1.

“The lockdown will continue till April 11,” the CM said and maintained that this will be reviewed by the cabinet committee after seven days.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmin Rahsid, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Raas, Yasir Humayon, Firdous Ashiq Awan and other senior government officials.

On Sunday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announce a complete ban on holding wedding functions — both indoor and outdoor — from April 5 onwards in cities and districts where the positivity rate is above 8 percent.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the NCOC chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and was attended by the chief secretaries of all four provinces via video link.

The meeting decided that the ban would extend to both indoor and outdoor weddings, however, “provinces will be at liberty to implement restrictions in an early time frame as per the situation on ground”.