MUZAFFARABAD                  -                 To stem the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Monday announced a three-week lockdown in the region starting midnight.

The AJK premier appealed to the public to stay in and avoid going out unnecessarily.

Unveiling the restrictions, he said transport will remain suspended and people will not be allowed to go out unnecessarily during this period.  However, he added, special passes will be issued to people for travelling in inevitable circumstances.

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One person from each family will be allowed to go out to buy food and journalists will also be issued special passes.

Emergency services will remain functional.

Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced a lockdown across the province starting midnight for the next 14 days to control the spread of coronavirus.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore, after chairing a high-level meeting to discuss the steps being taken by the provincial government to tackle the pandemic.

CM Punjab said the lockdown will be enforced from tomorrow at 9am till April 6. The pillion ridding in the province will be banned in the province during the lockdown.

He said the shops of daily routine and medical stores will remain open during the lockdown, while markets, shopping malls and public places will remain close during the aforesaid period.