The district administration has decided to put COVID-19 hotspots in 41 union councils (UCs) of Karachi under lockdown for a period of two weeks due to spike in coronavirus infections in the city.
Officials said that the move was aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus in line with the uniform policy across the country devised by the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC).
A notification in this regard has been issued stating that the lockdown in COVID-19 hotspots in 41 UCs of Karachi will be imposed from 7:00 pm (Thursday) and will remain in force till July 2.
Earlier, the federal government had announced that 20 cities had been identified as potential Covid-19 hotspots/clusters where restrictive measures were needed to contain the virus in line with the prime minister’s smart lockdown policy.
Of the 20 cities, six are in Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Ghotki, Larkana and Khairpur).
Parts of #Karachi to be placed under 'selective lockdown' from 7 p.m. tonight, with strict SOPs to be enforced in affected areas to curb spread of #coronavirushttps://t.co/fi06rNevBK— Newsweek Pakistan (@NewsweekPak) June 18, 2020
According to the notification, lockdown will be imposed in 5 UCs of District Korangi, 5 UCs of District South, 17 UCs of District East, 6 UCs of District West, 6 UCs of District Malir and 2 UCs of District Central.
It was also made compulsory for people to wear a face mask in these areas while the movement of people living in these hotspot areas will be strictly prohibited. However, grocery stores and medicals stores will remain open.
District West at high risk
In Karachi, the city commissioner was actively involved with his team and officials of the health department identifying areas facing a serious challenge of the spread of Covid-19.
A complete list is expected to be completed till late in the night and it would lead to the implementation of the smart lockdown strategy.
“We are still in the process of identifying the areas where we are seeing major number of cases. Once this process is done, we would then formalise the strategy that how we need to go with the restriction and devise the execution plan,” Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani said.
Hyderabad to be shut down
The same findings emerged about several localities of Hyderabad where number of areas were identified for the proposed smart lockdown, which would become effective from June 18.
“A detailed smart lockdown has been planned for Hyderabad,” said an official. “It would be effective from June for possibly two weeks but exact timeline is not yet decided. It would be imposed in UC Latifabad-1, UC Latifabad-2, UC Latifabad-4, UC City-1, the localities under Qasimabad-1, Qasimabad-2, Qasimabad-3, Qasimabad-4, and Qasimabad-5. According to an estimate, the proposed lockdown in Hyderabad would affect over 30,000 people. So far, in these localities, more than 300 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported.”
All kinds of private gatherings in homes and pillion riding will also be banned in the restricted areas. Moreover, public transport in these areas will also remain suspended for a period of two weeks.
Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk