Markets across Punjab will close from midnight tonight till August 5 in line with the government's measures to stem the spread of coronavirus during Eid-ul-Azha, provincial information minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan announced on Monday.

"All business and commercial centres in Punjab will remain closed till August 5," the minister said in his statement.

A day earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza had advised people to be cautious of the coronavirus and observe the safety standard operating procedures (SOPs) during Eid-ul-Azha.

Addressing a news conference, he had urged people to book sacrificial animals online so that they can avoid visits to the cattle markets where large gatherings can contribute to the spread of the virus.

Dr Mirza had said that the government had prepared in advance for Eid-ul-Azha keeping in mind the violation of SOPs that took place during Eid-ul-Fitr earlier. He added that citizens are not allowed to set up cattle markets inside city premises this time.

"Children, the elderly and the sick should not be taken to the cattle markets and people should try to make collective sacrifices this time," he added.

Mirza had also underscored that the citizens should abide by the issued guidelines to perform Eid prayers to stem the spread of the contagious disease.