Centre, provinces on a disagreement. Sindh on lockdown; Punjab extends shut down

Centre, provinces on a disagreement. Sindh on lockdown; Punjab extends shut down

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As the countrywide COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan jumped to 875 on Monday, the Center and the provinces did not yet appear to be on the same page when it came to working out how to curtail the highly contagious virus’ spread.

The Federal capital, Islamabad, is open. There is no lockdown, as if there is no coronavirus, although the provincial governments have implemented various degrees of lockdowns.

Islamabad and Rawalpindi are twin cities–one can drive about easily and the other is under lockdown. Majority of workers in free Islamabad would need to come from a locked-down city.

With exceptions to essential services, the provincial governments have closed all of their offices, along with private offices and industries etc. According to the Punjab notification, on duty department officials will be allowed freedom of movement.

The degrees of the lockdowns differ. For instance, Punjab allows take away and delivery of food, as is the case in the west, but in Sindh it is prohibited. Similarly, Sindh restricts fuel to no more than 10 litres, whereas Punjab has no such limitation.

The Sindh government took the lead when it proceeded with a provincial lockdown for 15 days from midnight on Sunday, barring all inter-city and inter-provincial movement along with gatherings of any sort, even those held for religious purposes.

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Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.

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