Punjab CM Buzdar announces 14-day provincial lockdown after Sindh to counter coronavirus

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday announced a province-wide closure of non-essential services and shops, effective March 24, after the country’s coronavirus infected tally crossed 800.

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“During this time shopping malls, public transport, public places and tourist spots will remain closed. In the larger interest of the public, we have also banned pillion riding, although families will be exempted.”

The chief minister said that factories producing necessary products will not be subject to the lockdown’s conditions.

The chief minister said that grocery stores, fruit markets, bakeries and meat shops will not be subject to the lockdown’s conditions. However, he clarified that the province was not undergoing a lockdown neither a curfew.

“I want to make it clear to you that this is neither a curfew nor a lockdown situation,” he said. “We are bringing a little changing [in the situation],” he added.

The chief minister announced that all non-essential shops and services will be closed as the Punjab government takes precautionary measures to ensure the virus does not spread.

Pakistan reports sixth death from coronavirus

Pakistan on Monday reported its sixth death from the coronavirus as the total tally of infected persons rose to 803 across the country.

Balochistan reported the first death from the province. Balochistan government’s spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani confirmed the province’s first death from the virus on Sunday in a tweet.

The deceased was a 65-year-old man, under treatment at the Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital, according to Shahwani.

Earlier, a doctor from Gilgit Baltistan was reported as the country’s fifth death.

The doctor who screened suspected pilgrims returning to Pakistan from Iran tested positive on Friday, Dr Shah Zaman, a senior member of the Health Department and focal person of GB government for coronavirus told media.

According to Zaman who met the physician on Thursday evening, the doctor looked fine and did not complain of anything. However, when his wife tried to wake him the next day, he did not respond.

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