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Sindh goes into lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases

SAMAA | - Posted: Mar 22, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Mar 22, 2020 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Sindh goes into lockdown amid rising coronavirus cases

Photo: File

The Sindh government imposed a lockdown across the province in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus that has so far infected 777 people in Pakistan.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah made the announcement on Sunday as the number of known coronavirus cases in Sindh jumped to 333.

The decision was made after consultation with all political parties, ulema and people from other walks of life, according to a statement issued from the Sindh CM House.

“Local transmission cases are spreading and we have to contain them, otherwise everything will go out of control,” CM Shah said. “I have no option but to save the people of Sindh from this pandemic.”

All offices, gathering places, public transport and bus stands would remain closed from 12 am onwards for 15 days, he announced.

“Nobody will be allowed to come out of his home unnecessarily, for which I have given clear instructions to the law enforcement agencies and the administration,” the chief minister said.

No more than two people will be allowed in a car, he said, with the only exception being the allowance of three people for hospital-bound vehicles. They all must have their CNICs.

Relaxation in lockdown

During relaxation in the lockdown, which would be announced by the government later, only one person would be allowed to go to market.

In case of using a vehicle, the statement said, only two persons would be allowed: the driver and the other person going to shop.

Measures against hoarding, artificial price hike

CM Shah said that people involved in hoarding and artificial price hike would be taken to task.

“We have arranged special teams to check the artificial pricing and hoarding issue,” he said. “The supply of food, including vegetables, meat and others goods will be ensured.”

Utilities

CM Shah directed all utility service providers suspend their billing for the smallest consumers this month and start recoveries through easy installments in the next 10 months.

He directed K-Electric, Hesco and Sepco suspend recovery of electricity bills from consumers with dues up to Rs4,000 this month. Similarly, he said, the SSGC would follow the suit and their threshold of gas bill has been kept at Rs2,000.

He also directed power distribution companies, phone and mobile companies, water supply and sanitation institutions to continue their services uninterrupted. No connection would be disconnected, the chief minister said.

He asked landlords to postpone collection of rent from tenants this month and collect it in easy installments later on. CM Shah urged employers to pay full salaries to their daily wagers so that they could get their square meals in this difficult situation.

The chief minister said that political and religious parties and philanthropists would keep supporting poor people by giving them ration. “The Sindh government will also ensure provision of ration or cash to the poor and daily wagers,” he said.

Twitter & Facebook accounts for updates

CM Shah said his government was making accounts on Twitter and Facebook where all government instructions, notifications and necessary guidelines would be posted. Details of these accounts would be shared through the media, he said.

The chief minister said the decision was taken in the supreme interest of the people of Sindh.

“Therefore everyone living in the province will have to cooperate,” he said. “Your defiance is bound to fail the entire process.”

Sindh govt establishes special cell for assistance

The Sindh government has established a Central Control Cell with regard to the lockdown in the province due to the coronavirus pandemic, it said in a notification Sunday.

It will be functional 24 hours and resolve issues relating to the lockdown. It will provide guidance and assistance to people in case of any queries.

The cell can be reached through below-mentioned contact details: 

Landline numbers: 021- 99222926, 99222927, 99222967, 99222931 and 99222933
Fax number: 021-99222231
Email: covid19sindh@gmail.com
WhatsApp number: +92346-6625396

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