Amid an alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in the Mirpur Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) district, the local government announced lockdown for a week since Monday in the region.
“All educational institutions will be closed for two weeks and other religious, political and social activities will also be prohibited by order of Deputy Commissioner Badar Munir”.
Dr. Fida Hussein, Mirpur District Health Officer (DHO), told that 4,334 people were tested in Mirpur this month, of whom 470 tested positive and 266 out of 2,697 tested positive in January. Furthermore, you can check the latest coronavirus case updates from this link.
In February alone, 28 people died, he said, adding that there were currently 326 active cases in the district. And 24 of them had been hospitalized while the rest were in household isolation.
A complete lockdown in the sea area became inevitable as there were no signs of weakening disease, said DC Munir. In addition, he said, “The administration and health department tried their best to contain the infection. But the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, particularly over the past two weeks, has baffled everyone; resultantly leaving us with no choice but to take some harsh measures”.
He expressed hope that the people would work with the government for their own safety.
The order issued by his office said the block would remain in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to 12 Sunday afternoon (March 7). During the lockdown, all shops will remain closed. Except for those with the right to work in strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) for a certain period of time.
Time Schedule for businesses
He said all grocery stores, bakeries, meat, fruit and vegetable shops, and propane-butane bottle shops will be open Tuesday and Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. While a dairy shop, a tandoor shop, and a tire repair shop will remain open at 6 am until 7 pm. According to the SOP, pharmacies and gas stations operate around the clock throughout the week.
From March 1 to March 14, all religious, political, and public gatherings and sporting activities also banned for two weeks. During this period, all public sectors and private educational institutions will remain closed, the regulation said. There will be no urban, intra-regional or trans-provincial traffic.
All wedding halls, parks, and recreation centers will close for a month from March 1 to March 31. No hotel will host a wedding reception while the home wedding ceremony cannot accommodate more than 25 guests.