Islamabad cordons off select areas after spike in COVID-19 cases 

Police officers wearing facemasks stand beside motorists next to a street sealed by the authorities at a residential area in Islamabad on June 25, 2020 as COVID-19 coronavirus cases continue to rise. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 26 October 2020

Islamabad cordons off select areas after spike in COVID-19 cases 

  • Capital’s district administration identifies several streets as “coronavirus hotspots” 
  • Residents working in essential services’ sector and testing negative for disease to be exempted from new rule

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad’s district administration began imposing “smart lockdowns” in several parts of the Pakistani capital on Sunday after new cases of coronavirus infections were reported across the city. 

Residents will now have limited access to several areas which have been identified as “COVID-19 hot spots,” the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad (DCI) tweeted on Monday.

The notification said that lockdowns had been reinstated in 10 streets across the capital, including “St. 46 in F-11/3, St.23 in F-11/2, St.58 in I-8/2, St.57 in I-8/3, St-91 in I-8/4, St.10 Block D Media town, St.12 in I-10/2, St.33 in G-11/2, St.30 in Pakistan town phase 1 and St.35 G-6/2.” 

It added that only residents working in the essential services’ sector and testing negative for the coronavirus disease would be allowed access to enter and exit the specified areas. 


Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims arrive in Pakistan from India despite virus fears

Updated 9 min 20 sec ago

Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims arrive in Pakistan from India despite virus fears

  • Pilgrims arrived in Lahore on Friday through the Wagah border crossing and were required to carry COVID-19 negative test reports
  • Every year, more than 2,000 Sikhs come to Pakistan to participate in Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations

ISLAMABAD: Over 600 Sikh pilgrims from India have arrived in Pakistan to take part in three-day celebrations of the 551st birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, which started on Saturday, local media reported.

The main ceremony of the three-day celebration will be held on Monday at Gurdwara Janamasthan in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak. The pilgrims arrived in Lahore on Friday through the Wagah border crossing. They were required to carry COVID-19 negative test reports which were checked by Punjab health authorities.

“Today, a total 602 Indian Sikhs arrived here via Wagah border to participate in the 551st birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib,” Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) spokesman Asif Hashmi told the media.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) is a Pakistani government-run body that administers properties, including religious trusts, left behind by Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to India in 1947 when the two countries gained independence from Britain.

Every year, more than 2,000 Sikhs come to Pakistan to participate in Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations. The number is lower this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of Sikh heritage is located in Pakistan, including Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, which is also of particular importance to the Sikh community as it was built in tribute to Guru Nanak, who established the town of Kartarpur in 1515. It is also his final resting place.

In November last year, Pakistan opened a visa-free passage, the Kartarpur corridor, connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib to the border with India and allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the site.

The opening of the corridor on Nov. 9, 2019 marked the first time Indian Sikh pilgrims could enter Pakistan without a visa since 1947.

The corridor was temporarily closed by Pakistan in March over restrictions to slow the coronavirus outbreak, but Islamabad reopened it in October. It remains closed, however, from the Indian side.