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Smart lockdown imposed in district Lahore’s coronavirus hotspot areas

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A man checks the body temperature of worshippers arriving for Friday prayers at a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The government of Punjab has imposed a smart lockdown in Lahore, sealing off the entry and exit points of areas identified as “coronavirus hotspot” in the district. 

The lockdown has been imposed till January 10, 2021, according to a notification issued by the  Primary and Secondary Health Department, Punjab on Tuesday. 

“There has been a constant increase in positivity percentage and prevalence of COVID-19 in the Province of Punjab during last two weeks which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health,” read a notification from the Primary and Secondary Health Department, Punjab issued today. 

The lockdown, according to the provincial government, has been imposed in targeted areas of the city till January 10, 2021.

According to the directives by the health department:

All markets, shopping malls, restaurants, offices (public and private) shall remain closed in the areas identified

  • There shall be a complete ban on movement of people to and from these areas by public and private transport except for limited movement of one person per vehicle to and from the exempted facilities
  • There shall also be a complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private throughout these areas.
  • In the closed areas the following shall be exempted from this order:

(a). Grocery stores, general/karyana stores, atta chakkis, fruit and vegetable shops, tandoors & petrol pumps. These shall remain open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, throughout the week. 

(b). All medical services, pharmacies and medical stores, laboaratories and collection points, hospitals, clinics and bakeries shall remain open 24/7 throughout the week. 

(c). Milk shops, chicken and meat/fish shops will remain open from 7:00AM to 7:00PM throughout the week. 

Which areas have been placed under lockdown?

The following areas, according to the Punjab government, have been placed under lockdown till January 10, 2021.

New strain of coronavirus reaches Pakistan

The development came a few hours after Pakistan’s first three cases of the new coronavirus strain were detected in the port city of Karachi earlier today.

The new strain, referred to by some experts as the B.1.17 lineage, is not the first variant of COVID-19 pandemic, but it is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain in the UK.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Sindh Health Department had said the new COVID-19 variant has been identified in samples taken from three passengers who recently returned from Britain.

The health department said it took samples of 12 UK returnees for genotyping out of which six tested positive for the coronavirus. “Three showed the new variant for the COVID-19 in the first phase of testing.” 

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