Peshawar                -           Despite closure of tourism and picnic spots by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in the wake of coronavirus, hundreds of masses stranded at various points across the province.

There were reports that hundreds of picnickers and tourists were stuck near Chakhdara Bridge – a entry to Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Kumrat valley and Chitral, and near Landakhy, an entry point to beautiful Swat valley.

When contacted Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Labour and Culture Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, he said they had already informed the general public not go to any tourism or picnic spot in order to ensure their safety against coronavirus.

“We are more worried about our people and the most important thing is our public health that is why we had announced that the tourism spots would be closed throughout the Eidul Fitr holidays to avoid gatherings,” he mentioned.

The minister cited health experts’ advice of social distancing for the government’s decision to keep the attraction spots closed. He said, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Kumrat, Naran, Kaghan, Swat, and Guliyat were some of the most visited places in KP where locals, as well as foreign tourists come to visit.

“We’ve decided to keep all tourism spots closed at least till Eid because we don’t want people to come in or go out of the province frequently since that may worsen the coronavirus situation,” said Yousafzai.

The minister indicated that after Eid, the KP government will frame a strategy to jump-start its tourism industry that had been affected due to the pandemic.

MOHMAND ADMIN RETURNS TOURISTS FROM PALAI DAM

Meanwhile, the district administration of Mohmand Tribal district Tuesday returned a large numbers of tourists from Palai dam and Yousaf Baba resorts at Tehsil Prang Ghar on the third day of Eidul Fitr.

Additional Assistant Commissioner, Lower Mohmand along with Tehsildar Prang Ghar took strict action against presence of a large number of tourists at Yousuf Baba and Palai dam resorts in Tehsil Prang Ghar.

The officials visited the said tourists resorts and returned a large numbers of tourists in the wake of COVID-19 protection measures.

They said ban on entry of tourists were still enforced and strict action would be taken against violators.