LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to enforce a complete lockdown in the province from May 8 to 15 in line with the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) decision to restrict movement of people during the Eid holidays.
The public transport and tourist destinations will remain close during the holidays and police, rangers, and army personnel will be deployed at the checkpoints to be set up at the entry and exit points of all cities in the province.
These decisions were taken at a meeting presided over by health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid at the Punjab Civil Secretariat here on Wednesday.
The chief secretary, additional chief secretary (Home), administrative secretaries of relevant departments, including health, industries, information, Lahore commissioner, director general public relations and civil and military officials attended the meeting.
Pharmacies, medical stores, medical facilities and vaccination centres, petrol pumps, food takeaways, utility services, media outlets, bakeries, small grocery and karyana stores, dairy, vegetable and fruit shops, tandoors, chicken and meat shops will remain open during the lockdown in order to facilitate the masses during the holidays, it was decided.
Army, police personnel to man cities’ entry points
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Rashid said the next 15 to 20 days were very crucial in controlling the pandemic, urging the citizens to cooperate with the government to contain the spread of coronavirus and implement the SOPs.
Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik said the purpose of announcing extra Eid holidays was to limit the movement of people. He stressed the need for increasing awareness about the importance of precautionary measures against Covid.
As per the NCOC instructions, he said, the public transport, parks, and tourist places would remain close during the holidays.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has imposed smart lockdown in six more areas of Multan and Sargodha districts each.
Teams: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Wednesday directed Lahore Commissioner retired Capt Usman Yunas to ensure strict compliance of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and tolerate no violation.
The chief minister ordered constitution of monitoring teams to ensure compliance of Covid SOPs during Eid holidays.
He also directed the officials to further improve cleanliness in the city by making joint efforts with the Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC). He stressed that the cleanliness system should be reformed and a comprehensive beautification plan be devised by the administration and the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) for the city.
Buzdar said work would be started in Lahore on mega projects soon, besides accelerating work to construct underground water tanks for storage of rainwater.
Similarly, he said, new parking plazas would also be constructed in the city to overcome the parking issues, adding the commissioner should take a lead in this regard.
Similarly, he said, every effort should be made to provide facilities for those living in shelter homes and suitable pieces of land should be identified for the establishment of such new facilities the city.
Along with it, he said, the traffic system should be improved and steps be taken to resolve parking and traffic issues and eliminate encroachments on a priority basis.
Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2021