LAHORE: After the Punjab government announced the closure of markets from yesterday midnight till August 5 in line with the government’s measures to stem the spread of coronavirus during Eid ul Azha, several markets in Punjab were sealed over violation of lockdown orders on Tuesday.
The implementation of the order to close markets and shopping malls in Punjab starts from today.
Several shopkeepers were detained in Gujranwala for violating lockdown and showing resistance over the provincial government’s earlier orders, whereas, four shops were sealed in Sargodha and three shopkeepers were fined.
Yesterday, the provincial information minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan had announced that all business and commercial centres in Punjab will remain closed till August 5.
According to a notification by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, “All educational and training institutes, marriage halls, business centres, expo halls, restaurants (except takeaway and home delivery), theme/amusement parks, public parks, play areas and arcades, beauty parlours and spas, cinemas, theatres shall remain closed.”
The notification added there would be a complete ban on sporting tournaments/ matches (indoor and outdoor) except non-contact professional sports without spectators.
“All contact sports and indoor sports clubs/facilities shall remain closed,” it said.
It further stated, “There shall also be a complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private.”
All retail shops, markets, shopping malls, and plazas shall remain closed except for medical services and pharmacies/medical stores, tire puncture shops, atta chakkies, postal/courier services, driver hotels, petrol pumps, oil depots, LPG outlets and filling plants, agriculture machinery workshops and spare parts shops, printing press, call centres (with 50% staff and no public dealing), takeaway/home Delivery from restaurants (24 hours a day).
Grocery stores, bakeries, kiryana stores, fruit and vegetable shops along with chicken, meat and milk shops to remain open from 6am to 12am, while inter-city and inter-district public transport will remain operational 24 hours a day.
However, trade organisations of Lahore have rejected the government’s orders and said that they would open the markets.
They were speaking to media after an emergency meeting called to discuss the latest government directives.
Trader leader, Tariq Javed, said: “Traders reject tomorrow’s lockdown,” adding that all markets would open and safety measures would be ensured. “Problems will arise if the government tried to stop us forcibly,” he added.