‘Smart lockdown’ imposed in Lahore

A “smart lockdown” has been imposed in Lahore and several other cities in Pakistan’s Punjab province, an area home to more than 100 million people, following a spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases, it was reported on Thursday.

As of Thursday, Punjab province remains the worst-affected with 60,138 confirmed cases out of Pakistan’s total 160,116 infections.

The “smart lockdown” came into force on Wednesday across the province, the BBC reported.

Pakistan is now focusing on a strategy of local “smart lockdowns” in hundreds of places around the country in a bid to control the virus while minimising the economic impact.

Officials said lockdowns lasting at least two weeks would come into force wherever at least 300 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed.

Police are guarding the entry and exit points of locked-down areas.

In an emergency, only one person in a household will be allowed to leave.

Markets, shopping malls and restaurants, including government and private offices, will remain closed in the sealed areas but grocery shops and pharmacies are allowed to open.

Public and private transport is banned.

Meanwhile, the country’s death toll stood at 3,093.