'Smart lockdown' begins in Karachi's Covid-19 hotspots

Updated 18 Jun 2020

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The lockdown started from 7pm today (Thursday) and will go on until July 2. — AFP/File
The lockdown started from 7pm today (Thursday) and will go on until July 2. — AFP/File

"Smart lockdowns" have been put in place in Covid-19 hotspots in various localities of Karachi, according to a notification issued by the Karachi Commissioner's Office late on Wednesday night as a measure to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The lockdown started from 7pm today (Thursday) and will remain effective till July 2.

List of areas in Karachi that will be put under lockdown.

According to the notification, the movement of residents in these areas will be "strictly restricted" while anyone going in or out of the areas will be required to wear a mask. Only one person from each household will be allowed outside to buy groceries or other essential items by showing their Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) to officials from law enforcement agencies.

Only grocery shops and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open while all industrial units in the areas will remain closed. Takeaways and home deliveries of food items will also not be allowed.

The notification added that residents will not be allowed to hold private gatherings inside their homes. No joy riding or pillion riding will be allowed while operations of public and private transport services including Careem, Airlift, Swvl and Uber shall remain suspended.

It added that that the government would try to provide rations to needy families in the areas using its own resources as well as through the help of charitable organisations and would also try to provide mobile dispensaries for the residents.

The notification directed the deputy commissioners to coordinate with the health and law enforcement departments including police and Rangers in providing logistical support to implement the lockdown.

Various localities in Hyderabad placed under lockdown

Approximately 170,000 residents living in various localities of Hyderabad will witness a 'smart lockdown' from tomorrow (July 19) to July 2 in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

According to a notification issued by Hyderabad Deputy Commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro dated June 17, localities in three talukas — Qasimabad, Latifabad and Hyderabad city — have been identified as Covid-19 hotspots.

A copy of the notification issued by the Hyderabad deputy commissioner.
A copy of the notification issued by the Hyderabad deputy commissioner.

According to the notification, no person will be allowed outside without a face mask under any circumstances while all markets, shopping malls, restaurants and offices shall remain closed.

Further, no general exit or entry will be allowed in these areas, except for providing essential services or commodities. In case of an emergency, two people will be allowed to travel in one vehicle.

Shops, apart from those providing essential services, shall remain closed within these localities; the timings for such shops will be from 7am to 2pm. However, pharmacies and medical stores will be allowed to operate 24/7.

Pillion riding has also been banned, the notification said, adding that sampling facilities would be available in these localities and ambulances would be on standby to deal with an emergency.

Residents shall be allowed outside their homes if they have valid and pressing reason, it said, adding that only one person from each household shall be allowed outside to buy food items and medicines and will be asked to show their original CNIC to law enforcers.

According to the notification, exemptions were also given to various professions including lawyers, media personnel and those working in essential services.

'Targeted lockdown will help curb virus spread'

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the government hoped to curb the spread of Covid-19 through its targeted lockdown strategy.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said. "All the provinces have been fully briefed about the steps being taken to curb the spread of the virus.

"It is our hope that this will stop the spread and will allow us to flatten the curve."

Smart lockdown reduced 90pc cases in Islamabad area

The enforcement of smart lockdown began to bear fruit as it was revealed on Wednesday that the number of coronavirus cases reduced by 90 per cent in an area of the federal capital which was sealed on March 13.

“Around 100 cases were being reported daily from Sector G-9, but after enforcement of smart lockdown the number of cases has reduced to 8-9 per day. It is nothing but benefit of the lockdown as the movement of people has been minimised,” Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat told the media.

He said no one was being allowed to unnecessarily go inside or outside the area under lockdown and even movement was being discouraged to reduce the chances of human to human transmission of the deadly virus.