The Sindh government is mulling over options to impose strict lockdown in Karachi in a bid to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.
According to sources, Karachi is having a high COVID-19 positivity rate and a strict lockdown will help control its spread.
The provincial government has sought input from senior police officials in this regard.
The restrictions may initially be implemented in Karachi, which could be similar to last year’s lockdown, added sources.
Meanwhile, police officials have demanded an additional budget from the authorities for the lockdown similar to last year.
Sources further said that so far 24 policemen have died due to coronavirus.
The Sindh government had announced Rs1 million assistance for those who succumbed to the virus.
Sources further claimed that the decision to impose strict lockdown in the city could be taken today (Saturday) or tomorrow (Sunday) with a quick implementation.
Earlier, the Sindh government’s transport department had issued a notification to lift the ban on intercity and inter-provincial public transport in the province.
According to the notification, 50% of seats in public transport would be left vacant.
It should be noted that the Sindh government had banned public transport across the province during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
On the other hand, the provincial government had decided to change the “safe days” — or days for operating businesses in Karachi — a notification issued from the home department said Friday.
According to the details, instead of Saturday and Sunday, all markets and businesses will now remain closed on Fridays and Sundays.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had decided against relaxing the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and resolved to review the situation on Saturday to see if more restrictions will be needed.
The CM said that on May 19 a record 20,421 tests were conducted and they resulted in 2,076 positive cases, which was 10.2% of those tested.
“In Karachi alone, 9,606 tests were conducted, against which 1,356 cases, or 14.12%, returned positive.”