Punjab shuts markets from Monday midnight to Aug 5
Amid the coronavirus spread fears on Eid-ul-Azha, the Punjab government has decided to impose lockdown in the province till August 5 while the lockdown will be effective from Monday (today) midnight, 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Monday.
Law Minister Raja Basharat said the lockdown decision has been taken in the wake of the current statistics stated no death have been reported in last 24 hours.
“We do not want to see the increase of COVID-19 cases and we need to control the situation,” he said.
Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz Ul Hassan Chohan said that 9-day lockdown will contain the virus from further spread.
A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corona was held at the Chief Minister's House under the chair of Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat in which Senior Member Board of Revenue, Secretary Specialized Health, Secretary Primary Health, CCPO and heads of relevant departments participated.
The decision has been taken at the time when the most populous province of the country, Punjab reported no new death from coronavirus in the past 24 hours as per the National Command and Operation (NCOC) released data.
All the markets will remain closed amid lockdown, the TV channel said that.
Punjab Health Minister Yasmin suggested the 10-day lockdown which was accepted in a meeting chaired by Raja Basharat on Monday.
The TV channel quoting its sources said that it has been under discussion to limit the time of cattle markets to stem the further spread of virus.
The TV channel quoting its sources maintained a suggestion to limit travelling to other cities has also been under consideration.
On the other hand, traders have opposed the idea of lockdown and argued it would be a financial loss if the markets would remain close on Eid-ul-Azha, which is in fact a lucrative season for all kinds of businesses.
Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said that there was a gradual drop in the number of coronavirus cases in the country and the number of deaths has also gone down 80 percent.
However, he also expressed his fear that in the coming days the coronavirus cases will increase if SOPs are ignored by the citizens.
Talking to newsmen in Islamabad, Zafar Mirza said that the sale of sacrificial animals and establishment of cattle markets within cities are strictly banned across the country.
He said that special preparations have been made in consultations with all stakeholders to implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during Eid-ul-Azha days.
He said that the pandemic will further spread if SOPs are not followed by the citizens. He said SOPs should also be followed during the offering of Eid prayers.
He advised citizens to prefer purchasing the sacrificing animals online instead of going to cattle markets. He also urged the people to prefer collective sacrifice instead of individual fulfilment of the ritual to maintain social distancing and contain the spread of coronavirus.