ISLAMABAD : In the wake of preventing spread of coronavirus, the incumbent government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday has shut different recreational spots in Federal Capital Islamabad till Eid-ul-Azha. According to Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, Murree Expressway, Margala Hills and different parks will remain closed during Eid holidays. He has requested people to refrain from making travel plans during the Eid holidays or arranging get togethers to protect themselves and others from the novel coronavirus. It is to be mentioned here that the government had announced three holidays from July 30 to August 2nd for Eid-ul-Azha that will be celebrated on August 1. According to a notification issued by the district administration, all such spots will be closed from Monday, July 27, till the last day of the Eid holidays. Earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Zafar Mirza warned people of a possible rise in COVID-19 infections on Eid. He has urged people to religiously follow SOPs while visiting cattle markets. “Wear masks, wash your hands frequently and maintain social distancing,” he advised. Meanwhile, Punjab government had decided to close markets and shopping malls before Eid-ul-Azha to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the province. Sources had said the markets and shopping malls will be closed two to three days before Eidul Azha. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also ordered to impose smart lockdown in the province on Eidul Azha after Punjab chief secretary recommended to shut markets under smart lockdown ahead of Eid. On the other hand, Pakistan has confirmed 20 deaths in a single day by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has risen to 274,289. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 5,842. According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 1,176 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours. Till now 118,311 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 92,073 in Punjab, 33,397 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 14,884 in Islamabad, 11,601 in Balochistan, 2,034 in Azad Kashmir and 1,989 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan has so far conducted 1,890,236 coronavirus tests and 22,056 in last 24 hours. 241,026 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 1,229 patients are in critical condition. Earlier, Punjab government had decided to close markets and shopping malls two to three days before Eid-ul-Azha to avoid spread of coronavirus in the province. Punjab chief secretary said that smart lockdown before Eid is required for reduction in COVID-19 cases. The notification in this regard will soon be issued, he added. Sources told that cattle markets, utility stores, milk shops, tandoors and medical stores will remain open during the lockdown. Decision to strictly implement standard operation procedures (SOPs) in cattle markets has also been taken.
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