The Punjab government has twice modified its order to grant more exemptions from mandatory closures of institutions and services in the wake of smog.

In the latest order, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) exempted international IT centres and call centres from the earlier order of “restricted movement”.

Under the new order issued on Thursday, the following would be exempted from being in the closed areas: pharmacies, medical stores, medical facilities and vaccination centres, petrol pumps, oil depots, tandoors, bakeries, grocery/ karyana stores, milk/ dairy shops, sweets shops, vegetable/ fruit shops, chicken/ meat shops, E-commerce/ postal/ courier services and utility services (electricity, natural gas, internet, cellular networks/ telecom, international IT centres, and call centres).

Earlier, the department also modified its initial order declaring, “All markets, shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, gymnasiums, schools (public and private), and offices (public and private) to remain closed from Thursday to Sunday i.e. November 9, 2023 to November 12, 2023”, and replacing it by declaring, “All restaurants, cinemas, gymnasium, public and private schools, colleges, universities and offices shall remain closed in these areas from Friday to Sunday i.e., November 10, 2023 to November 12, 2023. And that, all markets, shops and shopping malls shall remain closed on Saturday and Sunday i.e., November 11, 2023 and November 12, 2023. All hospitals (public and private) shall remain open and will provide uninterrupted healthcare services.” The rest of the order, issued earlier on Nov 7, 2023, would remain applicable as earlier.

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