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Coronavirus: Sindh government rejects reports of ending lockdown tomorrow

The News/Files

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Wednesday dismissed reports that claimed the province was ending the province-wide lockdown tomorrow (Thursday) as the COVID-19 tally in the province soared to 5,695.   

Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said: “No decision has been taken to end the lockdown although, a meeting was held in this regard.”

Shah said the government wished to grant relaxation to business activities on the SOPs. “We will inform the public when a decision has been finalised,” he said.

The information minister said that Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had imposed the restrictions keeping in mind the best interests of the people.

“Businesses will be allowed to resume in accordance with the SOPs. For now, we have permitted them to resume activities via online services,” he added.

Sindh issues SOPs for business

The Sindh government, last week, had issued Ramadan guidelines for businesses operating in the province, making some allowances to help them resume partial activities.

A meeting with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had been held to review lockdown timings and finalise SOPs for businesses during the holy month.

As per the agreement, traders were allowed to open shops from Monday to Thursday from 9-3pm, but for e-commerce and home delivery services only.

It was also decided that grocery shops will continue to follow the lockdown timings, i.e. 8am-5pm. However, dairy milk shops were given permission to operate from 8am-8pm.

“There will be complete lockdown after 5pm,” CM Murad Ali Shah had said, adding “home delivery of cooked food is allowed from 5-10pm.”

Furthermore, the sale of “samosa, pakora, jalaibi, fruit-chat, and such traditional iftar items” which attract large crowds cannot be sold in markets. However, these items may be delivered through home delivery services, for which SOPs have already been issued.

“Any person found violating [the mentioned] instructions shall be liable for action in accordance with law as per section 4 of Sindh Epidemic Disease Control Act 2014,” the statement issued after the meeting had stated.

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