Coronavirus: AJK decides to reimpose lockdown amid infection surge


Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider. — APP/Files 

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir  Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said Sunday a decision has been taken  “in-principle” to reimpose a territory-wide lockdown after a rise in coronavirus infections.

PM Haider, providing the basis for the lockdown, said that the territory’s coronavirus positivity rate had surged to 8.3% — higher than any area in Pakistan.

Following the decision taken during a high-level meeting with PM Haider in the chair, it has been decided that religious and social gatherings will be curtailed.

The AJK premier directed authorities to begin checking at entry points. He also said that government-issued safety protocols should be implemented in public transport and educational institutions.

The AJK government has ordered citizens to wear masks when they step out of their homes and at offices.

The region last went into a wide lockdown on March 23, following which “smart” lockdowns were intermittently imposed.

AJK has registered 23, 22, and 40 coronavirus cases on October 1, 2, and 3, respectively, up from 3, 1, and 7 on September 2, 3, and 4.

The territory has recorded a total of 2,816 coronavirus infections, more than 70 deaths, and over 2,408 recoveries, according to official statistics.

Soon after the decision “in principle” was announced, PM Haider tweeted that he has directed authorities to draft the lockdown policy within two days.

“How can we, with limited resources, overcome coronavirus, when the world’s major economies could not tackle it,” he said.

“Before the situation gets out of hand, we have to take drastic measures,” PM Haider noted.

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