- Provincial govt has convened a meeting on Friday to make a decision regarding complete lockdown
Sindh's Covid-19 situation continued to worsen as another 44 deaths occurred due to the coronavirus, surpassing the number reported on Wednesday, which was already one of the highest in the province.
Sindh also reported the year's highest caseload for the second straight day, with 2,797 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to an update from the chief minister's office on Thursday evening.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the Sindh government is considering a complete lockdown in Karachi as well as other major cities in the province.
“This situation is enough to assess the severity of the pandemic in the fourth wave, therefore, we have to be alert to control the situation,” Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Responding to reports related to Sindh's government's plan to impose a complete lockdown in the province's major cities, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that a complete lockdown is not the solution even as Sindh, especially provincial capital Karachi, recorded a surge in coronavirus cases.
In a presser alongside Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan, the planning minister, who is also the head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said that they have learned from last year that coronavirus restrictions, broader lockdowns, and stronger enforcement of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) had a positive effect in controlling the Covid-19 situation in Pakistan.
Talking about the devastating situation in Sindh, especially in Karachi, Umar noted that the Sindh government is taking proactive measures to deal with the situation, adding that the federal government will assist Sindh in every possible way.
"If the provincial government requires Rangers and armed forces, the government will deploy them."
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister also urged the Ulema to promote harmony and observe Ashura in accordance with the government's strict code of conduct.
The Chief Minister highlighted that in light of the exacerbating coronavirus situation in the country, a difficult incoming monsoon season, and unrest in Afghanistan, the police and various religious Ulema have settled on an agreement for a code of conduct, adding that “If you will abide by the agreed plan everything would go smooth and peaceful".
Karachi, which has been reporting the most number of cases, is currently struggling with a health system overwhelmed by patients. Doctors and health experts earlier recommended a 15-day complete lockdown in Karachi.
CM Shah has also convened the Covid Task Force meeting on Friday in order to mull over the curbs on movement and the final decision to impose a complete lockdown would be taken after consultation with traders and other stakeholders in Karachi.
Pakistan also reported its highest number of daily cases since April 30 after 4,497 people tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
During the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus positivity ratio was recorded above 7% for the second consecutive day. The positivity ratio now stands at 7.53%.