Lockdown in Balochistan extended till June 2

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“Disease may cause devastating consequences, illness and deaths,” says the govt notification. — AFP/File
“Disease may cause devastating consequences, illness and deaths,” says the govt notification. — AFP/File

QUETTA: The Balochistan government has extended the lockdown till June 2 in order to stop cases of coronavirus from increasing further in the province.

“Lockdown will remain in force from May 19 to June 2 across Balochistan,” said a notification issued by the home and tribal affairs department here on Tuesday.

It said the decision had been taken in view of the rising number of locally transmitted Covid-19 cases in the province. “Disease may cause devastating consequences, illness and deaths,” the notification added.

It said that all public gatherings, inter-city and inter-province travel and religious congregations would remain banned and strict action would be taken against those who violated the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.

The notification said there were sufficient grounds to proceed under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as an immediate preventive and speedy remedy to ensure public safety, conserve lives and maintain peace and tranquility in Balochistan. “It is mandatory to take all pragmatic and possible measures to contain and counter the further spread of coronavirus on a war footing,” it added.

The notification said no religious and social congregations, ceremonies, functions and all other gatherings, except Taraveeh and Eid prayers that too in accordance with the 20-point SOPs devised by the government, would be allowed.

The Balochistan government has so far not allowed resumption of public transport in the province and expressed serious reservations over the federal government’s decision to resume transport and train services.

The provincial government has asked the people not to travel by train and public transport as it can spread coronavirus in villages. It has also urged the people of Quetta not to travel out of the city and asked the outsiders not to enter it because the provincial capital was in a severe grip of Covid-19.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2020