The recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases within Punjab has led its government to order public transport to be halted in 15 districts.
The suspension was announced upon the recommendation of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
A spokesperson for the Motorway Police told the media that the government has restricted passenger buses from traveling on motorways in order to discourage the use of public transport during the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic.
These orders align with the previously issued decision of the provincial department of health to discontinue public transport on weekends, in addition to stricter smart lockdowns in affected areas.
Some of the other restrictions by the provincial government include:
- Suspension of trade and business activities over the weekends.
- Essential services like pharmacies will remain open 24 hours a day throughout the week.
- Complete prohibition of indoor dining, but outdoor dining is permitted until 10 pm.
- Strict prohibition of indoor weddings and gatherings, but outdoor gatherings with a maximum capacity of 300 guests are permissible.
- Public and private offices can carry out routine activities but only with 50 percent attendance.
- Railways to operate as per routine but with a maximum occupancy of 70 percent.
While the report detailed that the restrictions under the ban on public transport are expected to last until 12 September, the deadline for the new protocol is also subject to the ongoing COVID-19 situation across Punjab.