LAHORE: The Punjab government on Tuesday further eased the coronavirus lockdown, allowing businesses and shopping malls — except those in the ‘negative list’ — to open all days 9am-7pm barred Saturdays and Sundays, according to a notification from the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.
The order from the Punjab government’s primary and secondary healthcare department secretary, Capt (r) Muhammad Usman, was to “come into force immediately” and was effective till May 15.
“All businesses, factories, facilities, premises, retail shops, shopping malls and plazas except the aforementioned negative list are hereby allowed to operate subject to adoption of SOPs/guidelines from 9AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday,” it read.
“There shall be complete lockdown on Saturday and Sunday,” it noted, adding that the following were exempted:
- All medical services and pharmacies/medical stores
- Tire puncture shops
- Fruit and vegetable shops
- Atta chakkies [flour mills]
- Postal/courier services
- Driver hotels
- Detrol pumps, oil depots, LPG outlets and filling plants
- Agriculture machinery workshops and spare parts shops
- Printing press
- Call centers (with 50% staff and no public dealing)
- Takeaway/home delivery from restaurants
- Inter-city and inter-district public transport
- Grocery stores and kiryana stores
On the other hand, those among the ‘negative list’ comprised educational and training institutions, marriage halls, business centres, exhibition halls, restaurants (except takeaway & home delivery), theme/amusement parks, play areas and arcades, beauty parlours and spas, and cinemas and theatres.
“There shall be a complete ban on sporting tournaments/matches (indoor and outdoor) except non-contact professional sports without spectators,” the notification added. “All contact sports & indoor sports clubs/facilities shall remain closed.
“There shall also be a complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private,” it noted further.
Over 0.67 million may be infected with coronavirus in Lahore
A summary forwarded to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar last month had said an estimated 670,000 could be affected by the coronavirus in Lahore alone.
Secretary Usman had said the summary was forwarded to CM Buzdar on May 15 and contained results of samples collected from hotspots, residences, and offices in Lahore.
As per the summary, 6% of the total samples collected tested positive for the deadly virus.
In some towns, samples’ results stated that 14.7% of the samples came back with positive results. The report had said there wasn’t a single area in Lahore or a qasba where the infection had not reached.