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KARACHI: The Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, on Saturday advised the Chief Minister to refrain from complete and curfew-like lockdown in the province and ensure enforcement of SOPs in letter and spirit instead of opting for the excessive measures.

Addressing a press conference here at the Governor House, Imran Ismail made it clear that federation was against extreme steps to contain the pandemic as national economy could not afford shutting down industries and business activities particularly in Karachi, the economic hub of the country.

The Sindh government neither taken the federal government on board while taking the decision nor they had consulted with other stakeholders including trade and industrial community, the governor said, adding that the decision was also violation of the apex court’s judgment that directed to follow the guidelines while dealing with the situation arising of spread of Covid-19.

He said that complete closure of industry and business was not a viable option and provincial government’s unilateral decision in this regard was a surprise move for the federal government as well as NCOC.

It was better to sternly enforce the SOPs first and then opt for lockdown in hot-spots and if situation do not improve move gradually towards the extreme measures, he advised, adding that federal government and all its institutions were ready to extend every possible assistance to provincial government in the regard.

He reiterated that federation was not in favour of complete and curfew-like lockdown imposed by the provincial government and added that Prime Minister Imran Khan believed that national economy and majority of the population could not withstand severe implications of complete lockdown.

Prudent and far sighted policies of Imran Khan led government to deal with the situation were globally acknowledged and admired because closure of industries and markets was like cutting down jugular vein of economy, he maintained.

It was responsibility of CM Sindh and his team to get SOPs implemented throughout the province and it appears that failure of provincial executive was the major reason of spread of contagion and detection ratio has reached at 30 percent, the governor remarked.

It was evident that provincial administration failed to ensure observance of SOPs during Eidul Azha, in markets and other public places and even people in queues outside vaccination centres were seen not wearing the face masks, he noted and also pointed out mismanagement in vaccination process. “There ware reports that vaccine provided by government was being sold in open market and vaccination cards were being issued without administering jabs” he added.

The Sindh government must refrain from depriving citizens of their sources of livelihood and reconsider its decision, Imran Ismail said and advised that business organizations, trade unions, elected representatives and notable and influential personalities should be consulted with and taken on board before taking any such decision.

He censured Sindh government for not inviting the leader of the opposition in Sindh Assembly in meeting of task force and said that opposition leader was a constitutional position and it must not be neglected on basis of personal liking or disliking.

Imran Ismail also stressed on general public to adopt precautionary measures out of homes and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest to save them and their families from the deadly disease.

Replying to a query about conduct of elections during COVID situation, Imran Ismail said that government had requested the Election Commission of Pakistan for postponement of elections till improvement of the situation but it was discretion of ECP to decide the matter.

Responding another question about appointment of Arbab Ghulam Rahim as SAPM on Sindh Affairs, he said that Arbab Raheem was a seasoned politician who held important position of CM and had strong links in the province. His appointment would benefit the people of Sindh, he hoped.

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