Punjab Changes Markets, Shopping Malls Timing to 9am to 5pm

After the end of Eid holidays, the Punjab government has changed the timings of markets and shopping malls which would now be allowed to open from 9am to 5pm.

However, the food courts and playlands in the shopping malls will continue to be remain closed.

Meanwhile, medical stores are exempted from these timings as these outlets can operate for 24 hours.

Earlier, the government had allowed the markets and shopping malls to stay open till 10pm for Eid days shopping.

On the other hand, a meeting about making decision on tightening or relaxing the lockdown in Punjab while keeping in mind the latest situation would be held on Wednesday or Thursday.

Earlier, it was believed that the markets and shopping malls would remain open from 9am to 7pm after Eid while the decision to reopen restaurants is expected to be taken after a few days.

Meanwhile, the timings and SOPs regarding the restaurants would be decided by the relevant committee dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif expressed his shock and sorrow over the rise in coronavirus cases and deaths in Pakistan, saying the number of affected persons would not have increased exponentially, if there was a well-defined strategy before and after imposition of lockdown.

Shehbaz said a meeting of the Council of Common Interests should be convene immediately for formulating the strategy again while keeping in mind the latest situation.

In a statement, he called for not wasting more time and adopting a multidimensional national plan. Share the truth about testing with the people, the PML-N president said.

Shehbaz also urged the government to share the details of the policy to stop the coronavirus spread with the people. The nation should also know about the government strategy amid the rising number of patients admitted in hospitals, he added.

“Time is running out fast. Pay attention to different aspects according to situation so that the damage could be minimised,” said Shehbaz.

He also urged the people to follow precautionary measures, warning that the situation is getting out of hand rapidly.

Shehbaz expressed these views as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan increased by 1,446 during the past 24 hours, raising the overall total to 59,151.

The same period saw the death of another 28 patients in different parts of the country after which death toll climbed to 1,225.

The alarming situation has forced even the government members to modify their views as Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Monday hinted at a strict lockdown, saying that the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan was increasing.

During a media briefing in Islamabad, Mirza said the government would evaluate the prevailing situation immediately after Eid and could review the earlier decision of relaxing if the situation got worse.

Similar views were expressed by Ajmal Wazir – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s spokesperson – who said the people were not following the SOPs and lockdown would have to be tightened in case the number of cases continued rising.

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