The district administration has decided to enforce lockdown in seven more areas of Lahore after increasing the number of coronavirus patients reported from these areas. Deputy Commissioner Lahore Danish Afzaal has announced ‘smart lockdown’ in these localities of the city for a week from this midnight at 12:00 AM. As the government imposes smart lockdown in Lahore, other cities may follow the trend.
Week-long smart lockdown to be imposed in 7 areas of Lahore
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) July 8, 2020
The authorities have decided to enforce lockdown in Township A-II Block, DHA, EME Society, Wapda Town, Johar Town C Block, Chungi Amar Sadhu main market, Punjab Government Scheme and Green City areas of the provincial capital city. “In these localities, overall 877 cases of coronavirus have been reported so far,” DC Danish Afzaal said. In the past 14 days 376 patients of COVID-19 have been reported from these areas of Lahore, he added.
It was earlier reported that COVID-19 spread in Lahore has witnessed a sharp decline due to the smart lockdown enforced by the provincial authorities.
According to data obtained from the smart sampling process in the city, 5840 samples were obtained from six zones of the Lahore city and out of them only 45 came out positive. This shows a 0.74 percent spread which was far below than the earlier data which depicted the COVID-19 spread at 5.39 percent in the capital city of the Punjab province.
— Aaj News Urdu (@aaj_urdu) July 8, 2020
As government imposes smart lockdown in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday said that Covid-19 hit areas saw a significant drop in the number of coronavirus patients after these neighbourhoods were sealed under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “smart lockdown” strategy.
Taking to the microblogging site Twitter, he said COVID-affected areas in all major cities of Punjab, including the provincial capital, were sealed under this strategy for ten to fifteen days. He added random sampling also yielded encouraging results.
Smart lockdown lifted from 7 localities and Government imposes smart lockdown in Lahore again?
The District administration in Lahore has unsealed and lifted the smart lockdown in seven localities after smart sampling showed improvement in coronavirus situation on the ground. As the COVID-19 cases are persistently decreasing in Pakistan, the government of Punjab is easing smart-lockdown in order to help out citizens to go back to their businesses.
In last 10 days, four coronavirus cases were reported from Walled City of Lahore while five people tested positive for the virus in Gulberg. It was also decided to unseal Model Town, DHA, Gulshan Ravi, Faisal Town and Garden Town.
Earlier the Punjab government issued a list of localities to be sealed off in order to effectively contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The district administration focused on areas with high-risk potential and blocked all the roads leading to the said areas.
The areas included Chaman Bagh, Rajgarh, Ramnagar, Qilla Gujjar Singh, Abdul Kareem Road, Usmania Colony, Royal Park, Karim Park at Shafiqabad, Goal Bagh at Shadbagh, Bagumkot, Shama Colony near Shahdara, Ravi Clifton, Hanif Park, Malik Park, Johar Town (B, F2, J2 and G3 blocks), Canal View Society B Block, Wapda Town (F2, G blocks), PCSIR Phase II B Block, Gulberg (A3, B2, B1 blocks), Sirajpura Darogawala, A and B blocks of Bismillah Housing Scheme, Manawan, DHA Phase 1 (all sectors), Askari 10 (complete), DHA Phase-5 (all sectors), Cavalry Ground (Shiraz Villas), eight streets of Gulshan Colony, Quaid-i-Millat Colony in Kotlakhpat area, Ghosia Colony in North Cantt, F Block 400-440 of Gulshan-i-Ravi, backside of Lahore General Hospital, Alhamad Colony, Islampura, etc.
Government imposes smart lockdown in Lahore: Committees constituted to monitor daily affairs
As some areas are still sealed off, the Punjab government has constituted three committees, giving them various assignments in the wake of the ‘smart lockdown’.
The committee for the operational plan will comprise the Lahore commissioner, deputy commissioner, the capital city police officer, the Rescue 1122 DG, DHA CEO and representatives of agriculture, food, and livestock departments.
COVID-19 situation improves in Punjab, another committee shall monitor the supply chain of essential commodities and shall consist of ADC, AC concerned, DO industries, DO livestock, DO Food, secretary market committee and the representatives of wholesale markets and superstores.
The medical and emergency response committee shall comprise the ADC, CEO DHA and the representatives of the health department.
It is worth recalling that Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained coronavirus-free until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran – one of the worst-hit countries. After a brief hiatus following the first case, Covid-19 cases spiked as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.
Similarly, experts in Pakistan have warned against the premature easing of lockdown restrictions, fearing an exponential rise in infections. One healthcare worker said: “Everyone’s scared and exhausted. But we are fighting, we are pushing the limits. All we ask is that the government and people understand that they can help us help them by staying at home and providing us quality protective gear.”
However, the current situation and available data, and as COVID-19 situation improves in Punjab, suggest that Pakistan has been able to combat the virus, and there is a hope that the country may defeat the deadly pandemic in the coming days if the SOPs are effectively implemented across Pakistan.