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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Is Punjab government going to impose smart lockdown across the province?

Punjab to seal 33 more localities as Covid-19 cases soar. However, there are reports that the educational institutions are going to be reopened across the province.

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The Punjab government has decided to seal 33 more localities across the province and impose smart lockdown in eight more areas of Lahore to halt the rapid rise in coronavirus cases as 3,892 new coronavirus cases surfaced in the country within 24 hours, taking the total tally to 188,926. Is Punjab government going to impose smart lockdown across the province?

According to National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), there are 69,536 coronavirus cases in Punjab, 72,656 in Sindh, 23,388 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 9,634 in Balochistan, 1,1483 in Islamabad, 1,337 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 892 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

The death toll from the virus stands at 3,755 with 60 deaths reported over the last 24 hours. 23,380 Covid-19 tests were carried out during this period. 77,754 patients have so far recovered from the disease.

Chief Secretary Punjab Jawad Rafique Malik has approved the strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the province to curb coronavirus spread and said that action will be taken against those who violate SOPs.

In view of the slide in the number of Covid-19 cases and death rate, the selected lockdown has been extended to 33 more areas of the province.

Read More: Is ‘smart lockdown’ only way to curb spread of coronavirus?

According to reports, 96,229 houses and 1.69 million people will be put under lockdown in all blocks of Gulberg (1, 2, 3), Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Faisal Town, Garden Town and the Walled City of Lahore. Section 144 has also been imposed in the areas to force the people to follow the rules to control and restrict the coronavirus spread.

The government of Punjab also considering to keep the cattle markets in the outskirts of the cities.

Is Punjab government going to impose smart lockdown across the province?

Earlier, the government decided to impose smart lockdown in Lahore. 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.

Moreover, Islamabad’s four more sectors have been locked down, while smart lockdown has been in force in 25 localities of Faisalabad. A smart lockdown has also been in force in 41 areas of Karachi, 14 areas of Peshawar.

Committees constituted to monitor daily affairs

As a complete list finalized to lock down streets in Lahore, the Punjab government has constituted three committees, giving them various assignments in the wake of the ‘smart lockdown’.

The committee for 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.

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 health department.

Earlier addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister Secretariat, Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid said In the last two days, the worst-hit areas include Shahdra, Walled City, Mozang, Shadbagh, Harbanspura, Gulberg, Cantt, Nishtar Town, Allama Iqbal Town and some other small housing societies.

Read More: Pakistan records 137 Coronavirus deaths: Will ‘smart lockdown’ work?

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.

Universities to be reopened?

Separately, it emerged on Wednesday that the federal government is considering to reopen universities across the country from July 15.

According to details, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been formally informed in this regard while suggestions have also been sought from universities administrations.

Read More: COVID-19: Is Sindh government going to enforce smart lockdown?

In March 2020, the government had closed all the schools, colleges and universities due to the coronavirus outbreak. now it is to be decided

The decision was taken in a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC), presided by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Twitter.