Lahore - The Punjab government on Wednesday enforced smart lockdown in six cities including Lahore to cope with the situation caused by significant increase in numbers of COVID-19 cases. 

As per the notification issued by Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, constant increase in positivity percentage and prevalence of COVID-19 in the province during last two weeks posed a serious threat to public health.

As an immediate preventive and speedy remedy to ensure public health and conserve lives in the Punjab, P&SH Department, under Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention and Control) Act 2020 and after approval from the Chief Minister, notified that there shall be “controlled entry and exit” in the areas of districts of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Bhakkar, Bahawalpur and Sargodha identified as hotspots of COVID-19 with immediate effect till November 28, 2020.

The hotspot areas of district Lahore included Block F1, Valencia Town, Nishtar Town; Blocks E1, E2, F1, F2, G2, G4, G5 Johar Town; Boys’ Hostel No. 11, Superintendent House, PU, Allama lqbal Town; Sector AA, Sector BB, Sector CC, Sector FF, Phase 4, DHA; Sector XX, Phase 3, DHA; Sector N, DHA Phase 1; Paragon City, Lahore Cantt; and Block A, Block B, FCC, Gulberg-4, Gulberg Town. Rest of the areas of Lahore shall remain open. All markets, shopping malls, restaurants, offices (public and private) shall remain closed in these areas.  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, however, the following shall be exempted from this order: grocery stores, general/karyana stores, atta chakkis, fruit & vegetable shops, tondoors & petrol pumps shall be open from 9am to 7 pm for seven days a week; all medical services and pharmacies/medical stores, laboratories and collection points, hospitals and clinics for 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and milk shops, chicken & meat / fish shops and bakeries shall remain open from 7am to 7pm seven days a week. The large departmental stores will only keep their grocery / pharmacy sections open while all others sections will remain closed.  They will allow customers to enter stores in smaller groups while fulfilling the condition of social distancing. SOPs devised in consultation with district administration and police shall be strictly complied.

The exemption, however, is allowed to the officials of government departments on duty, duly notified by respective departments, including judges, lawyers and court staff; personnel related to health services including hospitals, clinics, laboratories collection points and medical stores; personnel related to law enforcement agencies; personnel related to essential services/offices going to perform their duties or providing essential services; persons in need of medical care with two attendants where necessary; persons going to buy grocery and medicines within the vicinity of their residence; necessary/unavoidable religious rites like the last rites, Namaz-e-Janaza, burial and related events; utility companies including WASAs, Municipalities, WAPDA, NTDC, DISCOs and SNGPL; public and private telecom/cellular companies, their franchises and their customer support centre with no public dealing; call centers with 50% staff and no public dealing; banks with only essential staff; takeaway/home delivery from restaurants; welfare organizations providing essential services and free dasterkhwan; media persons authorized by Information Department, newspaper hawkers; and any exemption that may be deemed necessary by the Commissioner of the concerned division.