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Pakistan

Punjab reimposes COVID-19 restrictions amid fears that a third wave is underway

  • These restrictions will stay in effect till March 29.
  • The policy of 50% work from home for both public and private offices has also been enforced.
Published March 13, 2021

To curb the increase of coronavirus cases in the province, Punjab has decided to reimpose several restrictions in different districts.

During the past 24 hours, Punjab reported 1,239 new cases and 34 deaths. Punjab's COVID-19 tally has jumped to 183,815 and the death toll has reached 5,732. Earlier, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom is causing a rise in infections in the province. Around 70% of the infections being reported are of the new variant, she said.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in a tweet announced the provincial government's decision to implement strict coronavirus SOPs. Today, the Punjab health department issued a notification detailing the restrictions.

"The positivity rate in some cities is constantly rising and third wave is looming, which poses a serious and imminent threat to public health," the notification read. The restrictions will stay in effect till March 29.

The policy of 50% work from home for both public and private offices has also been enforced, while all business centres will close at 6pm and will not be permitted to operate on weekends.

Takeaway and home delivery from restaurants will remain open, while wedding halls will stay closed in Lahore, Rawalpindi. Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Gujrat from March 15. Only outdoor marriages will be allowed with an upper limit of 300 guests.

Medical services, pharmacies, medical stores, and collection points will be open 24 hours throughout the week, including grocery stores, general stores, fruit and vegetable shops and fuel stations.

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