Provincial government mulls closing primary schools, imposing smart lockdowns in areas reporting high positivity
A meeting to review coronavirus measures in Sindh on Monday mulled re-imposing several mobility restrictions, and shuttering several sectors, to control the spread of the pandemic and reduce persistent violations of existing standard operating procedures (SOPs).
According to a statement issued after the meeting, the Sindh Health Department proposed shutting primary schools to curb the spread of the virus. It also forwarded other suggestions, including a ban on outdoor dining and two “closed” days for businesses per week, to boost adherence to SOPs, stressing that rampant violations were the key cause of the recent surge.
On Monday, Sindh capital Karachi reported a positivity ratio of 14 percent, significantly higher than most of the country, which has a national positivity ratio of around 3.8 percent.
During the meeting, which was chaired by the provincial chief secretary, it was decided that if SOP violations continue, then the government would have no choice but to seal marriage halls, restaurants, and cattle markets. He also suggested imposing “smart lockdowns” in areas reporting high positivity of COVID-19.
The meeting concluded by deciding to present its findings to the coronavirus task force headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. The chief secretary also issued directions to all commissioners and deputy commissioners to ensure they achieved the vaccination target set for their districts.
Authorities in Pakistan, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, have warned that the country could face a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, due to a lax attitude of citizens toward SOPs and a lagging vaccination drive. Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan on Monday warned that the Pakistan Army could be deployed to ensure adherence to SOPs, and urged citizens to get vaccinated to protect lives and the economy.