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LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to impose complete lockdown across the province from May 8 in order to restrict public movement and avoid a rise in the spread of the virus.

This decision was taken in a meeting held at the Civil Secretariat under the chairmanship of Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid. Under the decision, all types of public transport and tourist destinations across the province will remain closed from May 8.

Senior civil and military officials and Punjab Chief Secretary attended the meeting.

The authorities have decided to deploy Pakistan military troops, Punjab Police and Rangers personnel on the entry and exit points amid the lockdown from May 8.

Checkpoints manned by Rangers and Police personnel will be set up at the entrances and exits of cities.

Dr. Yasmin Rashid directed Chief Secretary Punjab and senior civil and military officials to spare no effort in controlling the spread of the virus as the next 15 to 20 days were very critical.

She said that people should celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with simplicity and show responsibility as citizens by taking precautionary measures. The purpose of giving more holidays on the occasion of Eid is to limit the public’s movement, she added.

Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik said, “The purpose of giving more holidays on the occasion of Eid is to limit the movement of the people.” Punjab's top bureaucrat urged citizens to avoid unnecessary travel during the Eid holidays.

“As per NCOC guidelines, parks and tourist spots would be completely closed during the Eidul Fitr holidays,” the Punjab Chief Secretary said.

He said that parks and tourist spots should be kept completely closed during the holidays as directed by the NCOC.

In the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 2,087 new cases were reported in Punjab and 58 people lost their battle against the deadly coronavirus in the province, as per the data released by National Command and Control Center (NCOC).

Earlier, most of the Punjab Cabinet members in the 43rd meeting at chief minister’s secretariat had proposed that the provincial government must go ahead to impose lockdown in the cities facing high coronavirus rate.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan told media persons after the meeting, “Our country’s economy cannot sustain such a large economic burden immediately.” NNI