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Sindh to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions from Monday amid spike in cases

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KARACHI: The Sindh government on Friday announced it is reimposing coronavirus restrictions in the province starting Monday, after the positivity ratio in the province crossed 10%.

The decision came during a meeting of the Provincial Coronavirus Task Force chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

According to a notification issued by the home department, general businesses, shopping malls, shops, and department stores will only be allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm. Stand alone grocery stores, milk shops, bakeries, fruit/vegetable vendors and pharmacies, however, are exempt from this rule.

The provincial government has placed a “complete ban” on all functions and gatherings, including wedding and related functions, whether held indoors or outdoors.

The authorities have also banned indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, which will only be allowed to offer takeaway till 10pm and delivery services till midnight.

Education institutions in Sindh will remain closed from July 26 to 31, but exams will be held as per schedule.

All public places will also remain closed to visitors.

Offices, both in the public and private sectors, shall function with only 50% staff. Workers and staff of all businesses must be fully vaccinated.

The curbs will be subject to a review after one week.

The provincial health secretary informed the meeting that the positivity ratio of the province has climbed to 10.3%, while the situation in Karachi is particularly bad, with a positivity ratio of 21.58%.

CM Shah observed that the coronavirus situation in the province was indeed alarming and warned of it worsening after Eid, where large gatherings are customary.

Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi told the participants that 85% of the patients admitted in Sindh’s hospitals were not vaccinated.

In a parallel development, the Sindh government is seeking to get the mobile sims of unvaccinated people blocked.

Adviser to the Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab tweeted that the Sindh government has decided to write to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in this regard.

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