LAHORE - Punjab is enforcing 3-day complete lockdown from today (Friday) after reopening of most of the business last week.  With the easing of lockdown, major cities witnessed unusual rush in the markets in the last one week. It was marked by violations of SoPs framed to reduce the risk of CIVID-19 spread. 

National Coordination Committee had allowed limited economic activities in the country to generate economic activities in the country. Various low-risk industries including construction, glass manufacturing, fertilizers, mining, chemical manufacturing, e-commerce and some others were allowed to re-open subject to observance of safety protocols.

In this background, the Punjab government has decided to strictly enforce the lockdown and take strict legal action against violators of SoPs. Grocery stores and pharmacies would however remain open as usual.

In a special statement issued here on Thursday, Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat said that it was unfortunate that during the easing of lockdown, SOPs were not followed in most of the markets and there was more rush than usual in the markets.  “This in itself is a major concern for public health and has the potential to increase the spread of the corona virus,” he said.

The Minister said that now the government would strictly enforce the decision of closing the markets for three days from Friday till Sunday and no concessions would be made to anyone. The Law Minister further said that relaxation in lockdown was conditional on some SOPs but the shopkeepers did not fulfill their commitment.   He warned that if the violations of SoPs prevailed, the government may reconsider its decision on easing the lock down.