Coronavirus

Punjab "smart lockdown" in India: dates, guidelines and restrictions

Punjab government will impose what's called "smart lockdown" as of midnight till 5 August in its bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Punjab "smart lockdown" in India: dates, guidelines and restrictions
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After a week with the new Covid-19 daily case count below 500, and with no new deaths for the first time in two months, the Punjab government has decided to implement what they call "smart lockdown" in its battle with the coronavirus. Under these regulations in general only essential services will be able to be provided, starting at midnight tonight (Monday 27 July) till 5 August.

Fresh lockdown regulations

As per the new notification issued by  Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department on 27 July, all educational and training institutes, marriage halls, business centers, restaurants, amusement parks, play areas, beauty parlors and spas, cinemas and theatres will remain closed.

There will also be a ban on all indoor/outdoor sports competitions except for professional sports that do not involve any close contact. No spectators will be admitted to sporting events.

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Gatherings of all kinds whether social, religious, or for any purpose will be barred whether in private or public places. In addition, markets, shopping malls, and retail shops will remain shut except for pharmacies, postal services, petrol pumps, and take-out/home delivery restaurants which can operate 24 hours.

Shops providing essential commodities like grocery stores, bakeries, fruit and vegetable shops, meat and milk shops will be allowed to open from 6 am to 12 am, while inter-city and inter-district public transport will be allowed to operate all the time.

Specific measures during Eid Al-Adha

Punjab Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik said on Sunday that protecting human lives was the highest priority for the government and all possible steps, including the strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in cattle markets, would be taken to curb the spread of Covid-19 during Eid Al-Adha (Islamic feast).

He added that imposing smart lockdowns in  Lahore and other cities in the province has proven highly successful at preventing the spread of Covid-19. He emphasized that allowing shopping activities especially in cattle market prior to the upcoming religious festival would help facilitate the virus spread and raise the number of new cases.