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Pakistan extends partial lockdown to May 31

Islamabad

In view of the incessant surge in daily COVID-19 cases, authorities in the province of Punjab and Islamabad capital territory have extended the lockdown restrictions for another three weeks till May 31 with certain exemptions provided to traders and businessmen.

A notification issued from District Magistrate Hamza Shafqaat’s office on Saturday, cited by Dunya News, said that all industries which are included in the second phase of the construction sector, all factories which are not included in the negative list, including the export industry, all retail shops, community markets and small shops excluding large shopping malls and all parks, trails, golf clubs, tennis courts and similar facilities with no public gathering have been allowed to remain open for businesses.

However, shops are allowed to remain open for five days a week from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and will remain closed on the weekends.The measure comes as people across Pakistan crowded markets on Saturday after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was eased, despite the country recording its second-highest daily infection toll.

Senior doctors have expressed concerns over the government’s decision of relaxing lockdown and said that situation could worsen because of the lack of facilities in hospitals if cases of the virus surged. Addressing a presser with other associations in Karachi, Doctor Ikram of Pakistan Medical Association said that coronavirus cases will escalate after relaxation in lockdown.

Pakistan’s coronavirus tally crossed 29,000 on Sunday after 1,991 new patients were diagnosed in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said.The Ministry of National Health Services said that 21 new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 639. So far, 8,023 people have recovered from the deadly virus, the ministry added.

Out of the total infections in the country, Punjab has reported 11,093 cases, Sindh 10,771, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 4,509, Balochistan 1,935, Islamabad 641, Gilgit-Baltistan 430 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 86.

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