KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday ordered closure of all shops, including grocery shops, after 6pm and ordered that restaurants would not be allowed to offer the takeaway facility after Iftar; however they would be allowed to offer home delivery service.
“We will further tighten enforcement of SOPs after Sunday and close the Hawkesbay, Seaview and such other recreational places for visitors,” he said.
The chief minister took these decisions at a meeting held at CM House.
Provincial ministers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani, Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, chief secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Mushtaq Maher and others attended the meeting.
The meeting participants were told that the number of new Covid-19 cases were on the rise in Karachi where detection rate was recorded at 14.32pc which was quite dangerous.
Grocery and all other shops to be closed by 6pm from today; takeaway facility withdrawn from food outlets
It was informed that now Hyderabad had started showing a decline in new cases.
Hyderabad which had a detection rate of 20pc on April 29 showed 11.92pc on May 5.
The meeting was told that in April, 154 patients had died and in May so far the virus had claimed 33 lives.
It was observed that people were not following the prescribed SOPs.
The meeting participants were informed that on May 5, some 627 people were fined Rs1,276.5 million, 64 shops were sealed and seven people were arrested for not following Covid-19 SOPs.
The chief minister on the advice of experts and members of the task force decided that from Friday all shops, including grocery stores, would be closed after 6pm.
Restaurants will not offer takeaway after Iftar, but they would be allowed to offer home delivery service.
He also said that all recreational places, including Seaview, Hawkesbay and other beaches would be closed to the public.
The chief minister decided that after Sunday stricter measures would be taken to keep people of the province within their homes.
“One should go out with valid reason and with precaution,” he said.
The chief minister directed the health department to start giving vaccines to private hospitals with the direction to administer the vaccine for free.
The meeting participants proposed to the chief minister to talk to the federal government to suspend passenger train services during Eid holidays. This would help stop further spread of the virus.
The health minister told the meeting that on the instructions of the chief minister quarantine facilities at local hotels were being planned.
The health minister said testing facilities all over Sindh were also being enhanced, adding that import of small-scale oxygen generation plants was in progress.
The meeting was told that during the last 24 hours 1,239 passengers arrived at the Jinnah terminal and five of them were diagnosed Covid-19 positive when tested. They have been quarantined.
Reviewing the status of critical care beds, it was disclosed that out of 647 ICU beds only 55 were occupied. Similarly, out of 1,796 HDU beds, 394 were occupied.
The chief minister directed district administration and the police to enforce SOPs properly.
Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2021