LAHORE: The Punjab government has extended lockdown in five districts of the province till Sept 22 for reporting high Covid positivity rate but allowed 50 per cent attendance of students in education institutions.

The districts are Lahore with 11pc infection rate, Faisalabad 7.4, Multan 6.6, Sargodha 7.1 and Gujrat 6.8pc.

The situation in Lahore is alarming as it recorded above 10pc infection rate of the virus during the last three days and reported high bed occupancy ratio in both intensive care units (ICUs) and high dependency units (HDUs) due to rush of critical Covid patients.

The primary and secondary healthcare department issued a notification of lockdown here on Wednesday. It said the markets in the five districts would close at 8pm while there would be no business on Friday and Sunday.

It said the education institutions would allow 50 per cent students to attend classes while marriage could host up to 400 people in open spaces. All shrines shall remain closed in these districts during the lockdown period.

According to the official figures released here on Wednesday, the bed occupancy rate in ICUs and HDUs of teaching hospitals in Lahore rose to 68pc and 61pc, respectively, on Wednesday.

The data showed that the bed occupancy rate in Mayo Hospital’s ICUs was 82pc, Services Hospital 77.7pc, Sir Ganga Ram 70pc and Jinnah Hospital 53.7pc.

The data further showed the provincial capital was persistently reporting high positivity rate of the virus for the last some days. On Sept 14, it was recorded 10.8pc in Lahore, on Sept 13 it was 12.1pc, and on Sept 12 it was 13.7pc.

The total number of Covid deaths in Punjab rose to 12,289 after 32 more patients died of the virus during the last 24 hours. Similarly, 1,247 more people tested positive for the infection during the same period in Punjab.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2021

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