Sindh government imposes lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak

Karachi: Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah has ordered a 15-day complete lockdown across the province in a bid to contain coronavirus spread.

In a video message, CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah stated, “Nobody will be allowed to come out of his home unnecessarily for which I have given clear instructions to the law enforcement agencies and administration.”

According to the notification issued by  Sindh government, “A complete ban on movement of people including Intercity or Interprovincial travel or gatherings of any kind for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private, including all offices, public or private situated within the territorial limits of Sindh.”

The violation of the government orders will be considered as an offence punishable under section 188 of the Pakistan Penal code as provided under Section 4 of the said Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 201, the notification added.

Concerned officers including deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and law enforcement agencies are empowered to take legal action against those violating lockdown orders.

Chief Minister has categorically clarified that the people who have to go to hospital would be allowed to do so, but they would be limited to three passengers.

In addition to it, only one person would be allowed to go to market/shop, and that too once in two days. While outside, the citizens have been advised to ensure the possession of their national identity cards (NIC).

Services exempted from the lockdown

  • Food and related industry or manufacturers
  • Grocery stores, as well as general and convenience stores
  • Electricity and SSGC
  • Health and related services, such as hospitals, medical stores, laboratories, manufacturers
  • Banks (with limited staff)
  • Welfare organisations, such as Chhipa, Edhi, Seylani, and JDC, providing essential services
  • Cellular companies’ services staff for repair and maintenance of towers and cables
  • Port operations, PNSC, and Customs services
  • Essential municipal services
  • Media persons authorised by Information department, as well as newspaper hawkers

The government has also restricted crowd in funeral prayers as only close relatives will be given permission to attend the final ceremony of their beloved ones in case of the person’s death. people will have to take permission from the station house office (SHO) of a local police station for organising funeral prayers, whereas, those persons attending the funeral prayers will maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (3 feet) from each other.