Rawalpindi’s Narankari Bazaar, Bara Market next to be sealed

Updated June 27, 2020

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A couple walk in a closed market in a restricted area that is sealed off to control the spread of the new coronavirus, in Karachi. — AP/File
A couple walk in a closed market in a restricted area that is sealed off to control the spread of the new coronavirus, in Karachi. — AP/File

RAWALPINDI: The district administration is planning to seal the city’s Narankari Bazaar and Bara Market after serious violations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were observed.

A lockdown has already been enforced in 22 localities of the garrison city till June 30, but the district administration is now planning to seal more areas.

Talking to Dawn, Additional Deputy Commissioner General Zaheer Jappa said the two main bazaars were a potential threat for the spread of coronavirus in the city.

The number of cases in the sealed 22 localities are decreasing, but the administration has found other hotspots from where confirmed Covid-19 patients were being reported, he added.

According to the standard operating procedures issued by the Punjab government, it is mandatory for the visitors to wear face masks while the traders had to ensure availability of sanitisers in their shops and permit not more than two persons inside.

District administration identifies more hotspots in the city

Despite clear directions from the district administration, SOPs are not being followed in the markets and bazaars. People failed to maintain social distancing while traders too did not make any effort to implement the SOPs, Mr Jappa said.

Before the bazaars and markets were allowed to open, the traders’ association had assured the government that they would adopt all measures recommended by health experts and place sanitisers in their shops.

The additional deputy commissioner general said the government had been creating awareness among the people to adopt safety measures in public places and also held dozens of meetings with traders to urge them to follow the SOPs.

He said the number of patients was gradually decreasing in the areas where the lockdown had been enforced. “As many as 30,978 people had been restricted to their 21,420 houses in the city’s 22 localities; the lockdown brought in good results,” he said.

The areas under lockdown are Dhoke Kala Khan, Qayyumabad, Iqbal Town, Dhoke Paracha, Dhoke Kashmirian, Kuri Road, Aliabad, Dhoke Ali Akbar, Sadiqabad, Magistrate Colony, Afandi Colony, Satellite Town Block A and C, Muslim Town and Khurram Colony in the city areas, while in the cantonment, the areas that have been sealeda are Dheri Hassanabad, Talli Mohri, Ghousia Chowk, Jhawara, Tench Bhatta, People’s Colony and Allama Iqbal Colony.

“The Punjab government has made wearing of face masks mandatory in public places to curb the spread of the coronavirus,” Mr Jappas said, adding that the violators would be penalised.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2020