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Balochistan govt withdraws Quetta lockdown notification after fierce protests

The Balochistan government has withdrawn its notification announcing a lockdown in Quetta after protests by traders.

The government had issued a notification on November 23
announcing that parks would be closed by 6pm, businesses by 8pm and wedding
halls by 11pm. Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said the
decision has been withdrawn after strong protests by the business community.

For now, all markets will operate as per their usual timings
and stores not adhering to the government-issued SOPs will be fined and sealed,
he said.

The traders assured the government that they would ensure
that SOPs are followed at markets. It was on the basis of this promise that the
district administration withdrew its notification.

In the past 24 hours, Balochistan has reported 45 new
coronavirus cases, taking the total case number to 16,891. So far, 164 people
have died of the virus in the province and 16,093 have recovered. There are 634
active cases in the province.

Pakistan is tightening its coronavirus restrictions as cases
rise. The second wave of the virus has more than doubled the daily case
numbers. The government has shut down all schools, colleges and universities
and imposed restrictions on wedding halls and restaurants.