RAWALPINDI: Taking action against those violating the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown in Rawalpindi, police registered 157 cases and arrested 327 people from different areas to prevent spread of the virus that has claimed eight lives in Pakistan.

A police spokesman said on Thursday that Rawalpindi district police have intensified their crackdown against those violating the lockdown.

Out of those arrested, 11 were from a religious party who had gathered in Kahuta on Wednesday. Other people that have been booked were violating the ban by operating public transport, opening shops other than pharmacies and pillion riding.

Police have increased patrolling, random checking of vehicles and have started to make public awareness announcements urging people to stay indoors and maintain social distancing to keep themselves safe from Covid-19. Punjab government has imposed section 144 which prohibits gathering of four or more than four people in one place.

In his address Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured the public that government would provide supplies of essential food items during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad deputy commissioner said the capital administration raided 55 shops and sealed one of them. Thirty-seven shopkeepers were arrested and 15 cases registered against them.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2020