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Smart lockdown extended in Balochistan till June 2 as COVID-19 cases surpass 2,900

Traffic police official announcing through loudspeakers about traffic law for public awareness during lockdown. — APP/Files

QUETTA: Balochistan government on Thursday announced to extend the smart lockdown till June 2 as the province’s coronavirus cases reached 2,968.

Addressing media, the spokesperson of the Balochistan government, Liaquat Shahwani said that the decision to ban public transport has been upheld in order to stem the spread of coronavirus, especially in rural areas of the province.

“It is feared that with the resumption of transport services, the coronavirus will spread to our villages and less developed areas,” he said, adding that about 30% districts of Balochistan are safe from the virus.

Urging people to celebrate the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr with simplicity, the provincial spokesperson requested citizens not to engage in inter-city travel during the lockdown and stressed that the traditional festivals are strictly prohibited in the province during Eid celebrations.

Hoping that the business community will play an important role in the eradication of coronavirus, Shahwani maintained that about 1,100 shops have been sealed and 720 people have been arrested for violating the standard operating procedures (SOPs) so far.

“A notification has been issued for opening of bakeries till 12pm, however, shops will be open from 8am to 8pm after Eid,” he added.

‘Over 2,900 affected from coronavirus’

While presenting the situational report in Balochistan, the provincial spokesperson apprised that 2,968 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the province to date. Among these, 1919 cases were reported in Balochistan from May 1 to 20, accounting for 65% of the total number.

“There are about 21% of women and 79% of men among the virus affectees to date,” he added.

Touching upon the spread of the virus among different age groups, Shahwani stated that the reported cases for COVID-19 among 11 to 20-years-old in Balochistan is 11% whereas about 9.5% of the people affected from the virus are aged between 51 to 60 years old.

“Coronavirus cases among people above 60 years of age are 5.5% whereas the percentage of children between the ages of one and 10 in the total coronavirus cases reported amount to 7%,” he added.

Stressing that prevention is the only way to battle the contagion, Shahwani showed concerns that the youth have been most affected by the virus.

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