Bans inter-city transport, close educational institutions
The Sindh government announced sweeping restrictions Monday to stem the spread of Covid-19, baning inter-provincial transport, closing schools, slashing office work forces and asking the army to help enforce SOPs.
“We have decided to seek the services of the armed forces to assist the district administration and the police to implement Coronavirus SOPs,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while addressing a press conference at the Sindh Assembly just after presiding over a Provincial Task Force meeting on Coronavirus.
He was flanked by ministers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Syed Nasir Shah, Ikram Dharejo, Law Advisor Murtaza Wahab and Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Siraj Soomro.
The chief minister said that the coronavirus situation
was comparatively better in Sindh but during the last 60 days the detection of new
cases has shown a dangerous surge. “This is something to be worried about,” he
On February 24, Sindh had 348 new cases and on April 25 the number had shot up to 952. “This shows that the situation is aggravating,” he said.
Sindh has 664 ICU beds with ventilators, of which only 47 are occupied. There are 1,872 high dependency unit beds with oxygen of which 296 are occupied.
“It still means we have enough facilities to deal with patients but we have decided to upgrade and multiply our facilities,” he said.
Oxygen is available in enough quantities. There are three oxygen plants at government facilities, one at the Trauma Center Karachi and the other two at Dow University Ojha Campus and Gambat Institute of Health Sciences, Khairpur.
“We have decided to purchase two more plants, one from Italy and another one from China,” the CM said. “I am assessing ways and means to airlift one of the oxygen plants at the earliest.”
1. All schools, colleges and universities have been closed with immediate effect.
2. All provincial government offices have been directed to slash their staff attendance by 80 percent.
3. Staff would work from home and offices of essential services would function as usual under new timings of 9am to 2pm.
4. Private offices would have to slash their staff attendance 50 percent. If they do not, their offices would be sealed.
Markets can operate from early morning to 6pm, as decided by the NCOC. “We are sure the traders would follow the SOPs, otherwise the government can impose more restrictions,” he warned.
5. Visitation for prisoners has been banned.
6. Inter-city bus transport has been banned from April 29, 2021.
7. Goods transports can operate as usual.
8. Industrial units would operate as usual but with SOPs.
9. Restaurants will only do home delivery and take-way.
10. Indoor and outdoor dining have been banned completely.
A letter to the Ministry of Interior seeking the services of the armed forces would be written Monday and post-facto approval would be sought from the cabinet on Tuesday.
All hospitals, public and private, and medical stores have been exempted from restrictions. They will operate as usual.
Six more patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 4,605. This is a 1.7% death rate which is lower than other provinces, except Balochistan.
Overnight 11,855 tests were conducted with 727 new cases (6.1% detection rate).
So far 3,578,180 samples have been tested against which eight percent or 279,271 cases have been detected, of which 94% or 262,639 have recovered, including 343 overnight.
The CM said that currently 12,027 patients were under treatment, of them 11,485 were in home isolation, nine at isolation centers and 533 at hospitals. The condition of 509 patients was stated to be critical, including 43 moved to ventilators.
Out of 727 new cases:
Karachi = 258 cases
133 in East
Hyderabad = 140 cases
Shikarpur = 58
Thatta = 39
Sujawal = 39
Larkana = 26
Mirpurkhas = 23
Dadu = 22
Naushehroferoze = 19
Shaheed Benazirabad = 16
Ghotki = 14
Jamshoro = 14
Kambar = 12
Tando Allahyar = 8
Badin = 8
Khairpur = 7
Sanghar = 6
Sukkur = 3
Jacobabad = 1
Matiari = 1