Photo used for illustrative purposes.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
In view of an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections, the Punjab government on Monday shut down the mass transit system including metro bus, Orange Line rail and speedo service in Lahore till April 11.
The stringent measures will become effective from April 1. All wedding halls and marquees were closed. Indoor or outdoor dining in the marriage halls and restaurants was banned. However, the facility of takeaway would be continued.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar told reporters after a meeting of the provincial corona committee that "effective lockdown” would be imposed in cities and areas where the positivity rate was more than 12 per cent. He clarified that the effective lockdown did not mean total lockdown.
He said that the corona committee would review the situation after seven days to take decisions necessitated by the emerging scenario.
The chief minister said the private transport would continue to ply. He said the government can’t close down the transport and construction industries.
All the sports and cultural activities were suspended. The parks were closed. The shops and commercial activities would be finished by 6pm. They will have Saturdays and Sundays closed.
Buzdar said that the government has set up 125 corona virus vaccination centres all over Punjab. He said hundreds of thousands of senior citizens and healthcare workers have so far been inoculated. At least twenty-two labs were conducting COVID-19 tests.
He requested the citizens to wear masks and exercise social distancing.
The chief minister said that the government was taking every possible measure to control the coronavirus spread.
The prime minister said he was not imposing a lockdown for now but that he would close down cities if Pakistan started facing a situation line in neighbouring India,
Army soldiers who manned roadside checkpoints along with police since late March when the lockdown was enforced, were seen leaving for their barracks in the capital, Islamabad and elsewhere in the country on Saturday.
On April 19, PIA flight PK-8220 will depart for Dubai from Islamabad, while PIA’s return flight PK-8221 will arrive at Multan airport from Dubai on the same day. The PIA flight PK-8223 will go from Islamabad to Dubai and will depart from Dubai to Faisalabad on April 19.
Millions of rupees have been spent by the government on transportation, lodging and provision of food to Pakistanis who came back since the outbreak of the coronavirus and are being kept at quarantine centres in the federal capital.
UAE-based tycoon MA Yusuff Ali visited a family in the Kerala port city of Kochi that came to rescue during a helicopter crash in which he had a narrow escape seven months back.
Initial investigations revealed that the victim previously declared through more than 10 videos on his personal account on TikTok his inability to reach a girl he loved and that he could not meet her because she was in her home country.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of individuals vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine starting from Jan.1, 2022," the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of Sputnik V, said in a statement.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, issued Executive Council Resolution No.(54) of 2021 regulating ‘right-of-way’ in Dubai.