Provinces tighten lockdown to prevent Friday gatherings
In an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, the provincial governments were tightening lockdown on Friday to ensure that the people could not gather for the weekly prayers at mosques.
Like the previous week, Sindh had already announced a complete lockdown from 12pm to 3:30pm.
Similarly, the Gilgit-Baltistan government told the citizens that they must stay at their homes as there would be a complete lockdown from 11 am to 3 pm on Thursday and Friday.
It is worth noting that only three to five members related to the mosque’s administration are allowed to conduct the Friday prayers.
Ulema have also appealed to the public not to go to mosques for Juma prayers and instead offer Zohr prayers at home.
In Lahore, traffic police were visible at various points to discourage the motorists from travel and had been imposing hefty fines on rickshaws, resulting in problems for the people categorised as essential workers in reaching their workplaces.
It was a repeat of last Friday when the Lahore administration had tightened the lockdown in complete contrast to the other days.
Similar scenes were being seen in Peshawar, Quetta and other cities as the district administrations scrambled to execute the lockdown orders in an effective manner.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Sindh cabinet decided to seal the industrial units violating the lockdown and further tighten the lockdown.
The decision to tighten the lockdown came as the owners and top doctors of the leading private hospitals proposed extending the period, 24NewsHD TV channel reported.
They warned that the healthcare system not only in Sindh but in the entire country would experience a breakdown because of a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus patients.
In his reply, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that they would follow the proposals.
However, things changed dramatically within 48 hours after the top members of the Sindh cabinet on Thursday said the lockdown would be gradually eased as they were critical of the federal government’s approach and policy on the subject.