Punjab orders shops closure at 6pm over SOP violations

People shop in a market after the government relaxed the weeks-long lockdown that was enforced to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, May 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

LAHORE: Amid rising coronavirus cases, the Government of Punjab has decided that shops across the province will close at 6pm.

The decision was made in light of frequent violations of the government-defined SOPs by businesses, the sources said.

However, Mian Tariq Misbah, the president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has opposed the decision saying there will be overcrowding of people at markets if business hours are reduced.

He assured that traders will implement the SOPs in letter and spirit.

The Punjab government has finalised a string of measures, including allowing half the government employees to work from home, to stem the second wave of the coronavirus.

Several cities in the province are witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, according to an official survey. The cities where the positivity ratio of infections is high include Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi.

The sources relayed the industries minister has been tasked to hold meetings with traders to ensure implementation of SOPs at markets. Special teams will visit markets to inspect whether the SOPs are being enforced or not.