ISLAMABAD-As the government takes further steps to check spread of Coronavirus, streets and roads of the capital look deserted, metro stations empty and big shopping malls closed.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad had on Saturday imposed section 144 of the CrPC 1898 in the jurisdiction of Islamabad to ensure closure of all the city markets and shopping malls by 10pm. The order shall remain effective for 15 days.

The decision has been taken as part of the measures to check spread of the virus. However, this notification will not apply to pharmacies, dispensaries, clinics, grocery stores, karyana stores, bakeries, atta chakkies, tandoors, milk shops, auto workshops, petrol pumps, chicken and meat shops, mandis and food outlets for delivery and takeaways. The government has been requesting the people to follow the medical guidelines and stay at home except in case of severe emergency.

They have been advised not to go out of their houses in the days to come as the virus may spread further in the coming days if the precautionary measures against the spread of Coronavirus are not taken.

The city wears deserted look with the offices closed, residents staying at homes and the visitors avoiding their trip to the capital city. The non-essential businesses have also been closed in the city.

A survey of the city reveals that most of the residents have left the city for the nearby hometowns as Murree and other parts of the KP. There is no rush on the roads, in the markets and hotels.

The people are scared and have limited social interaction resulting desertion in the city.

The daily wagers and bachelors have also left for their hometowns as they are getting no work and also facing difficulty in getting food at the restaurants.

A team of US diplomats also left Pakistan on Sunday in fear of spread of the virus.

Shops are closed and streets are empty in the city, as countrywide campaign for social distancing gains momentum. Rush was seen, however, in playing grounds of the city with the police and other law-enforcing agencies asking the youngsters to leave the grounds and stay at home.

On Sunday, District Magistrate issued another notification to state that all restaurants, cafes shall remain closed for the period of one week. However, take away and home delivery will remain functional. All shops will be closed by 8pm.