Sindh and Punjab Reduce Business Hours, Order Private Offices to Limit Staff to 50%

The government of Punjab has ordered the public and private offices to reduce the in-office workforce by 50 percent. The provincial health department issued a directive in this regard on Monday, sighting the alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 infections in the province.

The notification issued by Punjab Healthcare Secretary Mohammad Usman has asked public and private organizations to reduce the staff strength by 50 percent until January 31. The remaining 50% of staff will work from home.

Those coming to work must ensure precautionary measures, such as face masks and social distancing.


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Meanwhile, the Sindh health department has also issued a similar decree, asking offices to halve their staff presence until further orders. The notification came late on Monday, stating that several areas of the province identified as virus hotspots will go under ‘broader lockdown.’

The commissioners and assistant commissioners have been given powers under the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act, 2014, to decide which areas need to be closed.

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As per the notification, indoor dining has been banned in restaurants, while outdoor dining will not be allowed beyond 10 pm.


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The provincial government has allowed markets and businesses to operate from 6 am to 6 pm on weekdays. All businesses, except essential services, will be closed on weekends.

Business centers, indoor gyms, indoor sports facilities, shrines, cinemas, and theatres have been shut down indefinitely.

The notification added that only outdoor weddings with a maximum of 200 guests will be allowed. The food at ceremonies will be distributed in packed boxes instead of buffets.

The development came hours after the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) decided on school closure for one month due to the second wave of COVID-19.