KARACHI: The Sindh government on Wednesday extended the curbs on business and other activities of daily life, which were imposed to contain the coronavirus, for another 15 days, directing the people across the province to follow the defined standard operating procedures (SOPs).

A notification issued by the home department announced the extension in the restrictions till July 15 amid rising number of coronavirus cases.

It said the decision was taken “in continuation of the order of even number dated 1 June, 2020 and for the same reasons recorded therein the Government of Sindh, in exercise of powers under Section 3(1) of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act, 2014 (The Sindh Act VIII of 2015)”.

The province, it said, had announced on June 1 that following a meeting of the National Coordination Committee, it had been decided that economic activities must be opened and a focus on compliance of SOPs must be ensured while such economic activities were undertaken.

In the fresh notification, educational training institutes, marriage halls, business centres, expo halls, all contact sports, indoor sports clubs, indoor gyms and sports facilities, sporting tournaments, indoor and outdoor restaurants, cafés, excluding takeaway and home delivery, theme parks, amusement parks and arcades, beauty parlours and spas, cinemas and theatres, public processions/gatherings of all nature, shrines, tourism/tourist hotels and interprovincial transport would remain closed.

“The provincial government and district administration, by an order, may restrict all/any activity in areas which are the hotspots for the spread of Covid-19,” the notification said. In this period, it added that operational days or hours for businesses would be five days per week (Monday-Friday) from 6am to 7pm, except for pharmacies and essential services.

The restaurants and cafes, etc could operate all days of the week but they would remain closed for customer dine-in and only takeaway and home delivery would be allowed.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020