Punjab govt orders closure of business centres at 6pm in six cities
Traders oppose two-day weekly shutdown: Smart lockdowns imposed in several Lahroe areas
The Punjab government on Saturday issued a notification for changes in the timings of businesses in view of the coronavirus pandemic, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
However, traders have opposed the government's directive for the closure of markets for two days, saying this would not help in controlling the rush in the markets.
According to the notification issued by the Punjab government, which has taken effect immediately and will remain in force until March 29, all business centers will be closed by 6 in the evening, while no business will be allowed on Saturday and Sunday.
Secretary Primary Healthcare Muhammad Usman, who issued the notification, said that medical services, pharmacies, medical stores, collection points and laboratories will remain open round the clock and seven days a week.
Similarly, grocery and general stores, atta chakkis (wheat grinder), fruits and vegetable shops, tandoors and petrol pumps will also be not affected by these new timings.
Likewise, the new schedule will not apply to tyre puncture shops, filling plants, workshops, spare parts shops and the shops selling agricultural equipment and machinery.
According to the notification, only 50 percent staff will work each day at both government and private offices while indoor and outdoor marriage halls and community centers will remain closed from March 15.
Similarly, indoor dining will be strictly prohibited at cafes and restaurants; only takeaways will be allowed.
Secretary Primary Healthcare Muhammad Usman further said that only 50 persons will be allowed at social and religious gatherings while shrines and cinema halls will remain completely shut.
The notification further reads that there will be no entry in parks and other recreational places after 6 PM.
Reacting to the government's new directives, the traders have opposed the two-day complete closure of the markets, saying this is not going to help ease the situation.
Faisalabad City Cloth Board General Secretary Abbas Haider Sheikh said the government should keep open the markets on all days, so that the rush in the business centres can be managed. "Fixed timings will help the citizens in shopping," he added.
In view of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, micro smart lockdowns will take effect in different areas of Lahore tonight (Saturday), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Streets and roads of Data Ganj Bux Zone, Samanabad Zone, Nishtar Zone and Cantonment areas will come under the lockdowns.
Zahid Chaudhry and Rao Dilshad Hussain reported this news.