The Punjab government has decided to close all educational institutions across the province amid a rise in coronavirus cases in the province, especially the provincial capital.

According to reports, the high-level meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has decided to impose a ban on weddings and recreational gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, from April 1. The government has also decided to close markets and shopping malls by 6pm. Public transport, such as the metro and orange line, will also stop operations at 6pm, as per the decision.

Restaurants will also be closed for indoor and outdoor dining; only takeaways will be available. Economic activities have not been banned, but must strictly comply with COVID-19 standard operating procedures, CM Buzdar told reporters in a press conference.

Buzdar confirmed the grim situation in the province in a press conference following the meeting, which was attended by provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmin Rahsid, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Raas, Yasir Humayon, Firdous Ashiq Awan, among other senior government officials.

The chief minister urged the masses to show responsibility to follow the SOPs given by the health authorities. “We can not control the pandemic without help from the masses.” The restrictions will come into force from April 1 and will remain in place until April 11.

With a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, COVID-19 positivity has reached 11 per cent. In the last 24 hours, 4525 people tested positive for the virus in Pakistan while 41 lost their lives, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC).

As of March 29, the total active COVID-19 cases in Pakistan stand at 46,663.


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