Sindh under lockdown till August 8th as Covid Delta variant takes over

Due to the dire Covid situation in Karachi, CM Murad Ali Shah announces a lockdown till August 8th. As per the official orders, only vaccinated persons will be allowed on the roads after showing their vaccine cards.

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In today’s CM House meeting, the Sindh government announced that Karachi will go into lockdown until August 8th. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah chaired the meeting, with provincial ministers and healthcare experts in attendance.

For the first time, parliamentary leaders of political parties also attended the meeting.

Currently, Pakistan is facing a fourth wave of the pandemic and the situation is dire in Sindh where the SOP compliance rate is very low.

Read more: COVID-19 fourth wave: PM Khan concerned over nation’s behavior against the virus

According to a Sindh Health Department official, the positivity of cases is rising by two percent every day in Karachi.

“Most of the city’s Covid-19 beds are occupied now, but over 180 patients are brought for admission daily. There is no other option left but to impose a complete lockdown in Karachi to control the spread of the disease,” the official said.

As per the latest statistics, forty-four people died due to Covid-19 and 2,797 others tested positive for the disease during the past 24 hours in Sindh. The death toll due to the viral coronavirus infection is reaching 5,947 in the province.

The situation prompted CM Murad Ali Shah to consider a two-week lockdown in Karachi. He announced the final decision today during the Covid-19 task force meeting.

The government banned all inter-city and intra-city travel. Educational institutions will also close down till August 8th. All markets too will remain closed, only medical stores and essential items stores will be open.

Authorities will allow only vaccinated persons on the roads after showing their vaccine cards. All government offices to close from next week.

Read more: Asad warns closure of wedding halls, hotels amid fourth COVID wave in Pakistan

NCOC assists provincial government

In yesterday’s press conference, NCOC Head Asad Umar rejected the idea of closing entire cities to curb the spread of coronavirus.

He said Sindh had the lowest compliance of pandemic-related standard operating procedures (SOPs) along with Balochistan i.e. 33pc.

Read more: Unvaccinated people won’t be allowed to work after 31st August: Asad Umar

A complete lockdown is not advisable as it creates a severe financial loss for the economy.

“We should not forget that the working class and laborers will have to pay the price of complete lockdown. Smart lockdown is a tried-and-tested strategy and it should be implemented. Closing down the cities for weeks is not a solution,” he said.

However, earlier today the NCOC announced that that the forum had “critically reviewed” the disease spread in Karachi and had decided to take all possible measures to assist the provincial government.

“The measures being undertaken by the federal government include ramping up critical care capacity, including oxygenated beds and vents, availability of oxygen, and deployment of law enforcement agencies for implementation of SOPs and non-pharmaceutical interventions,” NCOC said.