PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has imposed smart lockdown in four localities in Peshawar after many coronavirus cases were reported from the area on Monday.

The smart lockdown in four areas of the provincial capital has been imposed on recommendations by the district health officer (DHO). The areas under smart lockdown include Ashrafia Colony, University Town sub-area, Danishabad and Sector E/2 in Phase I of Hayatabad.

Deputy Commissioner Peshawar Muhammad Ali Asghar has directed the concerned officials to enforce controlled exit and entry in the areas under restrictions. The deputy commissioner said no one will be allowed to enter or exit these areas, except those supplying essential commodities and all types of gatherings have been banned. All shops in these four areas will also remain closed. However, pharmacies, general stores, food supplies, tandoors, water shops and emergency services will remain open so that people of these areas get essential supplies.

Only five people will be allowed to offer congregational prayers in mosques in these areas. Concerned magistrates in-charges and divisional and sub-divisional police officers will be responsible for smart lockdown implementation in the four areas. The DHO is required to provide health services.

The KP government had earlier warned that it may again ponder the option of lockdown if standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not followed in letter and spirit.

Peshawar is the most affected district from coronavirus in KP. The provincial metropolis has reported 6,393 coronavirus cases so far, including 87 during the last 24 hours. Peshawar has also reported 351 deaths, nearly half of the total deaths in the province. The metropolis is hit hard by the virus mostly because patients from all parts of the province come to Peshawar for treatment. Tens of thousands of people from different parts of the province also visit Peshawar for different purposes due to which the local population is exposed to increasing threat of the virus.

The violation of SOPs by the general public is very common as the government’s directions to wear facemasks are ignored by many people. The SOPs violation is also very common in mosques and other religious and social gatherings.