COVID-19 update: Lockdown commences in Sindh as national positivity rate exceeds 8% mark
Partial lockdown has taken into effect in Sindh as national COVID-19 positivity rate exceeded an alarming 8% on Saturday (today).
Karachiites woke up to police checkpoints on several major roads across the city as Sindh government’s ‘partial lockdown’ commences from Saturday (today).
Karachi Police and Traffic Police have established temporary roadblocks and checkpoints to prevent the masses from unnecessarily roaming in the public with especial vigilance against those who are unvaccinated.
An emergency meeting of the SSPs was held last night regarding the lockdown, in which it was considered how to implement the lockdown.
Only export-oriented, food and health -related industries, pharmacies, bakeries and other essential services would operate, while all the markets, government offices, intra-city transport service would remain closed all over the province with special focus on Karachi.
The development comes as CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah while addressing a press conference on Friday a day earlier, had announced to impose a ‘partial lockdown’ till August 8th across the province.
As per the lockdown restrictions;
- There will be a ban on inter-city travel
- All markets will remain closed
- All government offices would be closed
- The Export, food and health related industries will continue to operate
- Public’s vaccination cards will be checked
- Takeaways from restaurants will also be prohibited, with permission for only home deliveries.
- Exams have been postponed
- Only grocery shops, pharmacies, bakeries, butchers, vegetable shops, fuel pumps and media houses will be allowed to operate
- Private offices will either remain closed, or will operate with reduced limited staff under strict COVID-19 SOPs
However, Sindh government today amended its earlier notification allowing Cambridge examinations to be held on August 2nd as per schedule.
Pillion riding has also been allowed.amended
Following the provincial government’s orders, the Sindh Boards of Technical Education (SBTE) had suspended the annual exams 2021 for the Diploma of Associate Engineering till August 8. In this regard, the SBTE had already issued a notification circulated in respective organisations, technical education centres, and examination centres.
Meanwhile, the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology — two campuses of which have been operating in Karachi — had also issued a notification in pursuance of the provincial government orders.
The FUUAST Acting Registrar, through a circular, had instructed the staffers and teachers to suspended on-campus academic activities. The varsity can call any of the teaching and non-teaching staffers for essential services. However, the registrar had said that online exams would be taken as per schedule.
Likewise, the Board of Secondary Education Karachi had postponed the practical examination of Secondary School Certificate Annual Examinations 2021. The BSEK, however, had not issued any notification in this regard. The Board of Intermediate Education, Karachi (BIEK) had suspended the first phase of Higher Secondary School Certificate Annual Examinations till August 8.
Meanwhile to the Universities and Boards Department had directed all the educational boards, degree awarding institutes, technical education centres, VCs and directorates to suspend the ongoing exams.
National Positivity Rate Exceeds 8% Mark
Separately, a total of 58,479 COVID-19 tests were conducted during the past 24 hours, of which 4,950 came back positive taking the national positivity rate to an alarming 8.46% mark.
Another 65 COVID-19 related deaths were reported during this time period.
Pakistan’s total COVID-19 cases stands at 1,029,811 cases with a total death tally of 23,360 casualties. A total of 940,164 people have successfully recovered from the novel virus whereas 3,187 are still in critical condition.
According to a province-wise breakdown, the total number of cases in Sindh has reached 380,093; 143,673 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; 356,211 in Punjab, 87,304 in Islamabad; 30,289 in Balochistan; 24,145 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 8,096 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Daily Vaccination Surpasses 900,000 People
Furthermore, Pakistan recorded the highest daily tally of COVID-19 vaccinations with 904,740 vaccine jabs being administered across the country during the past 24 hours.
Out of the total 904,740 people, 696,652 received their first jab, whereas the rest 208,088 received their second and final vaccine jab.
According to Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the government’s target is to immunize one million people in a day. Pakistan aims to vaccinate 40% of its population in big cities by the end of August.
A total of 23,335,634 people have been partially vaccinated, whereas 6,312,421 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Pakistan so far.