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Govt Begins Shutting Down Big Markets Over Violation Of Lockdown SOPs In Punjab, KP

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National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Thursday decided to shut down all the big markets – in which the shopkeepers have been violating the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) to combat the pandemic – across the country.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill took to Twitter to inform the people about the recent development. “According to the decisions of NCOC, several big markets in which the shopkeepers are not following the government’s SOPs will be shut down today [Thursday].”

He further said that the shutting operations have started in ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led provinces, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

After the federal government’s decision to ease the lockdown, people were seen in large numbers outside clothing outlets for Eid shopping. A photo of the Khaadi outlet in Lahore went viral on social media, with a line of women and men lined up outside in wait for their turn without following the 6-feet distance.

Another video of a lower income area market from Peshawar was circulated, showing people disregarding the SOPs of ‘smart’ lockdown.

On May 7, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a gradual lifting of the nationwide lockdown despite a surge in number of coronavirus cases in the country. “The lockdown has badly hurt laborers, small businessmen, and the general public. Our tax revenues dropped 35% while exports also fell due to the lockdown,” the premier said.

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