LAHORE: Punjab government on Sunday decided to close markets and shopping malls before Eid-ul-Azha to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the province, ARY News reported, citing sources.
Sources said the markets and shopping malls will be closed two to three days before Eidul Azha. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also ordered to impose smart lockdown in the province on Eidul Azha after Punjab chief secretary recommended to shut markets under smart lockdown ahead of Eid.
Sources said that cattle markets, utility stores, milk shops, tandoors and medical stores will remain open during the lockdown. The notification in this regard will be issued soon.
Punjab chief secretary said that smart lockdown before Eid is required for a reduction in COVID-19 cases.
Earlier in the day, the Punjab government decided to impose lockdown in the coronavirus hot spot areas in different cities of the province on the occasion of Eidul Azha.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique to review the measures against the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of Eidul Azha.
The meeting also discussed the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in cattle markets. The meeting agreed that the Deputy Commissioners will decide to extend working hours for cattle markets in different cities of Punjab.
The Punjab government had earlier imposed smart lockdown on COVID-19 hotspots in four cities of the province.
It is pertinent to mention here that the country reported 1,226 new novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally of cases to 273,112.
According to the latest figures released by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 35 deaths were also reported due to virus in the last 24 hours. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 5,822.