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Friday, May 17, 2024

COVID-19 3rd wave: Is Sindh government going to impose complete lockdown?

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that despite its efforts the government of Sindh is unable to vaccinate as many people as it should. Is the provincial going to impose a complete lockdown?

The Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has hinted at imposing further restrictions in the province as coronavirus cases continue to surge. Addressing a press conference in Karachi, CM Murad Ali Shah said that if the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) are not properly followed, the virus could rapidly spread across the province.

Speaking about the current restrictions in place, he said that the transportation of goods has not been stopped by the government, while only public transport has been banned for the safety of the people.

“If the situation gets critical, then the federation will be asked to impose more restrictions on public transport,” he said, adding that he had earlier requested the Centre to impose a ban on inter-provincial public transportation to contain the virus.

The chief minister said that [despite its efforts] the government of Sindh is unable to vaccinate as many people as it should. “This is a big failure [for the government],” adding that even if someone has been inoculated, they should continue to observe the government’s mandated SOPs to keep themselves safe.

Notably, Murad Ali Shah recently said that he believes that a complete lockdown is needed in Pakistan to get a grip on the third wave of coronavirus. “Do a lockdown or don’t do it, smart lockdown is nothing,” said CM Murad while speaking to the media in Islamabad.

The CM told reporters that his government believes that the government should ban inter-city transport for two weeks as well. He added that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic was “dangerous”.

“I have antibodies yet I am still afraid of corona[virus],” said CM Murad to highlight how dangerous the COVID-19 disease is. He also slammed the ongoing countrywide vaccination policy, saying the government failed to procure the vaccine.

Can Pakistan afford a complete lockdown?

Analysts believe that Pakistan’s economic condition does not allow the country to prolong a curfew-like lockdown. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been of the view that any attempt to restrict daily wagers to their residences might lead to some serious law and order situation.

We should, argued the premier, be careful before we decide to take any stern action to combat Coronavirus outbreak. Some media persons slammed PM Imran for not comprehending the situation and letting the virus spread across the country. However, with the passage of time, the premier was able to offer concrete evidence to support his version of partial lockdown.

Countries should be able to swiftly identify and quarantine coronavirus hotspots instead of putting their whole societies on lockdown, but people must accept this ‘new reality’ for it to work, said WHO’s envoy to Russia. This is the same stance of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan who announced to quarantine specific areas rather than locking down entire country. It is worth mentioning that PM Imran Khan was the first leader to suggest this idea in his press briefings since March.

Read more: Russia comes out in support of China after US allegations on coronavirus outbreak

“I do believe that there might be a surge [in Covid-19 cases], but we’ll be able to respond to it much quicker, having all the experience that we’ve got, unfortunately, over the last four months,” Dr. Melita Vujnovic, who represents the World Health Organization in Russia, told RT when asked about the impact of the gradual lifting of lockdowns – that has begun in many countries – on the pandemic.

Pakistan reports 118 deaths in 24 hours

Coronavirus has claimed 118 more lives in Pakistan during the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 15,872. The latest statistics of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) showed the COVID-19 has claimed 118 more lives and 5,395 fresh infections were reported during the period.

With the latest inclusion of new infections, the number of overall COVID cases currently stands at 739,818. The positivity ratio of the COVID cases in last 24 hours was recorded at 8.34 per cent.

Read more: Is social media responsible for spread of Coronavirus?

During the last 24 hours, 4,740 people recovered their health, taking the overall number of recovered patients in Pakistan to 646,652.

The health facilities across the country conducted 64,685 coronavirus detection tests, taking the total number of COVID-19 tests to 10,942,771 since the first case was reported.

Yesterday, the federal government had announced that coronavirus vaccination centres would operate in two shifts during the holy month of Ramzan to facilitate the masses willing to get vaccinated against the pandemic. As per details, the vaccination centres would operate in two shifts and continue providing services after Iftar.