Law-enforcement agencies jeopardise Sindh’s action plan to curb Covid

Ali OusatWeb Editor

28th Jul, 2021. 08:49 pm

KARACHI: The lenient attitude of the law-enforcement agencies in the imposition of the lockdown is jeopardising the Sindh government’s efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus in the province.

With Karachi’s Covid positivity rate reaching 30 per cent on Wednesday, the metropolis is seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

“Over the last 24 hours, Covid-19 has claimed 20 more lives in Sindh, mostly in Karachi, taking the death toll to 5,860 in the province, while 2,517 new cases emerged. As many as 18,737 tests were conducted in the same period,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said in his daily Covid report.

He added that with 5,860 deaths, the Covid-19 mortality rate stood at 1.6 per cent in the province.

“Hospitals in the province are running out of space to cater to [the] Covid patients,” Pakistan Medical Association general secretary Dr Qaiser Sajjad cautioned, adding that the government must impose a 15-day strict lockdown if the trend continues.

The doctor also said the public’s non-adherence to the Covid-related SOPs might lead to another spike in cases in the city.

PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN

“If the smart lockdown does not work, the government will have to take stricter actions,” he said, adding that the citizens should not think that getting a vaccine jab exempts them from following the SOPs, as the lethal Delta variant is gaining strength in the country, especially in Karachi.

Following the sharp rise in the Covid-19 cases, the provincial government has imposed a smart lockdown in the city. Shops and other business activities are not allowed after 6:00pm, while marriage halls, indoor and outdoor social gatherings are also strictly prohibited.

However, a ride around the city paints a different picture altogether.

Though businesses in the downtown areas of Karachi, including Saddar Bazaar, M A Jinnah Road, Tower and I I Chundrigar Road come to a halt after 6:00pm, various tea stalls and tuck shops continue to remain open till late in the night.

“When we hear the police vans approaching, we just turn off lights of the shop,” a waiter of a local tea stall in Saddar Bazaar said, adding that for them business was as usual.

In the aftermath of the recent surge, Administrator Karachi Laeeq Ahmed has also set up a Covid-19 vigilance committee, comprising five senior doctors at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

He appealed to the citizens to exercise caution and use masks in social interaction in view of the current situation.

“In case of ill-health, immediately approach any nearby hospital or health center to save precious lives,” Ahmed said and requested the citizens to cancel private events for some time.

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