Lockdown in Punjab tightened for three days, several routes in Lahore closed with containers


LAHORE (Dna) – Markets across Lahore will remain closed for three days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and to strictly enforce the lockdown the Punjab government has closed several routes by placing containers on Thursday.

According to sources, containers have been placed outside Data Darbar, Civil Secretariat and Urdu Bazaar, while containers have also been placed and roads have been closed on the occasion of Youm-e-Ali.

Meanwhile, the Punjab CM chaired an important meeting where he was apprised of important issues. The chief minister has ordered to close markets found violating SOPs from Monday.

On the occasion, CM Bazdar directed the concerned officers that violation of government orders and SOPs would not be tolerated under any circumstances. Markets and bazaars in Punjab should be kept closed for three days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier, the provincial government had warned of strict lockdown and action in case of violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said that the government had decided to strictly implement the SOPs of lockdown and it would also be ensured that the orders for shutdown of shops for three days a week were also complied with by the public and the business community.

The minister expressed his apprehensions that the SOPs were not being followed properly in several markets during relaxation in lockdown during the last three days.

Open violation of the SOPs and heavy rush of people had been witnessed in the markets during the lockdown relaxation hours, he added.

He said that it was a responsibility of shopkeepers to ensure strict implementation of the SOPs for lockdown in the markets. He said that shops would remain closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (three days) and shopkeepers would have to follow the rules, adding that no one would be facilitated during these three days.

52 shops sealed over violation of SOPs

Earlier today, the district administration sealed 45 shops in Shah Alam Market and seven shops in Chungi Amar Sadhu for not maintaining social distancing protocols enforced to contain spread of coronavirus.

Customers and shopkeepers were found flouting the social distancing rule, nor were they wearing face masks and gloves. As a result, the authorities sealed the shops.

Meanwhile, in view of Youm-e-Ali, authorities sealed and closed entry and exit points of all markets of Walled City including Shah Alam market, Akbari Mandi and Circular Road.

Markets across the country were seen teeming after opening up on Monday for the first time in over a month as the nationwide lockdown was eased despite a steep rise in the number of Covid-19 infections.

Businessmen have criticized abrupt sealing of the markets and said that administration should have informed him beforehand so that they could have made necessary arrangements.

Earlier, Karachi’s district administration sealed three markets over violation of SOPs and ignoring precautionary measures imposed by provincial government in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic.

The district administration was of the view that the shopkeepers did not comply with the condition of the sanitizer and were not wearing masks and gloves.

According to the SOPs issued by the Sindh home department, shopkeepers were not to cater to any customers without face masks, while also ensuring that a distance of at least six feet was maintained between each person.

The regulations also prohibited physical contact, such as handshakes and other greetings, between workers and customers. This, too, was ignored.