‘Smart lockdown’ imposed in certain cities as COVID-19 cases jump past 148,000

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Islamabad : Certain areas of major cities across the country are undergoing a ‘smart lockdown’ on Tuesday, a day after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued a list of 20 cities identified as COVID-19 hotspots across the country.

Parts of Islamabad and Peshawar have been sealed with major areas of Lahore set to go under lockdown from midnight tonight.

“A total of 20 cities across Pakistan have been identified as having likely increase in ratio/speed of infection which needs restrictive measures for containment,” a statement by the NCOC had said on Monday.

Pakistan has reported over 148,000 cases and more than 2,800 deaths so far from the novel coronavirus.

In Islamabad, authorities have already sealed G-9/2 and G-9/3 for having over 300 cases. While I-8, I-10, Ghauri Town, Bharakhau, G6 and G7 were being monitored, the NCOC had said.

The other cities identified by the NCOC are Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Swat, Hyderabad, Sukkar, Sialkot, Gujarat, Ghotki, Larkana, Khairpur, DG Khan, Malakand and Mardan.

The NCOC shared that the TTQ strategy is aimed at identifying disease spread, focused clusters/hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns and need-driven resource optimisation at all levels.

Punjab govt imposes complete lockdown in some areas of Lahore

Addressing a press conference on Monday, provincial Health Minister Yasmin Rashid had announced that a complete lockdown would be imposed in some areas of Lahore due to rising coronavirus cases being reported in the provincial capital.

“Many areas of Lahore will be shut down 12am onwards from tomorrow (Tuesday),” said the minister. She added that the areas that will experience a complete lockdown include Shahdra, Shad Bagh, Mazang, Harbanspura, Old Lahore, Nishtar Ground, Cantt.

Meanwhile, some areas in Gulberg would also be closed completely and some societies in Lahore’s Iqbal Town as well.

“Food stores and pharmacies will remain open in these areas,” clarified the minister, adding that the areas will undergo a complete lockdown for at least two weeks. She added that these areas will be reopened after t the situation is assessed.

In Punjab, Lahore is the worst affected city and has reported over 27,000 cases.