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Third Covid-19 wave: Sindh closes schools, allows 20% office attendance

The situation is very alarming, Murtaza Wahab says

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Apr 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Photo: Online

Sindh has announced stricter coronavirus restrictions as the trend of positive cases in the province remains high.

“I wish people were actually following SOPs and had been wearing masks,” Sindh spokesperson Murtaza Wahab tweeted on Monday. “The situation is very alarming and [the] government may have no other option but to take stricter decisions if people don’t act responsibly.”

The new directives announced are:

  • 20% attendance in government offices
  • All schools, colleges, and universities closed
  • Intercity public transport to be closed from 29th April
  • Markets, business centres to close after 6pm
  • Meetings in jail banned
  • Offices to remain open from 9am to 2pm

The decisions have been taken to curb the rapid spread of the deadly virus during Ramazan and before the Eid holidays. According to the Sindh Coronavirus Taskforce, if cases continue to rise, markets will be completely closed down.

A meeting headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah is underway at the CM House. The government will hold a press conference at 1pm.

In the last 24 hours, Pakistan has reported 4,825 new coronavirus cases while 70 people succumbed to the deadly virus. The number of patients in hospitals has increased and the country is using 90% of its oxygen supply.

On Sunday, Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah wrote a letter to the Federal Interior Ministry requesting deployment of army in the province for SOP implementation.

NCOC meeting

Last week, the National Command and Operation Centre announced the following decisions to curb the virus:

  • Schools to be closed in all districts with positivity rates higher than 5%
  • Markets will close at 6pm, and only shops selling essential goods will be allowed to remain open till late
  • Indoor and outdoor dining has been banned for the month of Ramazan
  • Indoor gyms to remain closed 
  • Offices to close at 2pm with 50% staff to work from home
  • The government will make a detailed policy on testing and quarantine of people coming from abroad

If the situation deteriorates, the government will be forced to impose a lockdown in different cities. The NCOC will hold discussions with different provinces and make a detailed plan for that too.

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