Sindh extends ‘smart’ lockdown until July 15 to control rising COVID-19 cases

July 02, 2020

On the recommendations of the Sindh government, the home department has extended the date of ‘smart’ lockdown throughout the province until July 15.The notification issued on Wednesday...

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On the recommendations of the Sindh government, the home department has extended the date of ‘smart’ lockdown throughout the province until July 15.

The notification issued on Wednesday said that in continuation of the order issued on June 1 and “for the same reasons recorded therein” by the Sindh government under Section 3(1) of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act, 2014, the home department has extended the lockdown until July 15.

The sectors that will remain closed are educational and training institutes, marriage halls, business centres, expo halls, all contact sport and indoor sports clubs, indoor gyms and sports facilities, sporting tournaments, restaurants, cafes (excluding takeaway and home delivery), theme, amusement parks and arcades, beauty parlours and spas, cinemas and theatres, public processions and gatherings of all nature, shrines, tourism and tourist hotels, and interprovincial transport. However, the intercity transport shall be opened as per the inputs from the Sindh Transport Department, keeping in view the petition by transporters in the high court.

The provincial government and the district administration, by an order, may restrict any and all activities in areas that are the hotspots for the spread of COVID-19, according to the notification.

About the work days and timings, it said that business timings, except for pharmacies and essential services, are five days per week, from Monday to Friday, from 6am to 7pm. It said the restaurants and cafes could open throughout the week only for takeaway and home delivery. Takeaway is allowed from 6am to 7pm, while the home delivery from 7pm to 11pm.

It said the citizens should not come out of homes without a valid reason from 7pm to 6am. It asked the people to wear face masks at public place, keep a distance of over three-feet between two persons at all times, frequently wash hand with soap and sanitizer, adhere to the distancing protocols while travelling by any transport, strictly adhere to the SOPs issued for the workplaces etc, and strictly adhere to the SOPs issued by the provincial and federal governments.

“It must be reiterated that the threat of disease spread has not subsided rather increased and stricter adherence to the SOPs is required than ever before. Any person, owner or manager, engaged in any permissible activity and operation found violating any of the instructions contained in this order, including the SOPs, issued by the government shall be liable for action in accordance with law as per Section 4 of the Sindh Epidemic Disease Control Act, 2014.”

It continued: “Any business unit or shop, store, manufacturing or non-manufacturing unit found or reported violating the above instructions and SOPs shall have the permission given to them during the COVID-19 emergency suspended immediately and such work places may be closed.”

It added: “Secretaries of respective departments viz. industries, labour, etc. who are entrusted with regulation and control of respective activities and function related to above as well as respective divisional commissioners are empowered under Section 3(1) of the said Act to issue further orders, directions, notices to put this order into effect in letter and spirit and to clarify further for implementation purpose (but not allow what is not permitted or disallow what is permitted).”

It said any such order and direction/notice is to be issued by fully taking onboard the respective law enforcing agencies and police to ensure proper implementation mechanism. “A team of officers and inspectors of administration, industries and labour department duly authorised by the deputy commissioners or secretaries concerned may check the place at any time for compliance of the directions and SOPs issued by government. The deputy commissioner, the assistant commissioner, the labour officer concerned as well as personnel of the law enforcement agencies not below the rank of Inspector Police (or of equivalent rank for other law enforcement agencies) are empowered under Section 3(1) of the said Act to take any legal action on any Act in contravention of this order or directions/notices issued there under.”

It said further legal action could also be taken under relevant the labour, industrial and other applicable laws. “This order shall come into force at once remain in force till July 15, 2020.”

Security order

The Sindh Services, General Administration Coordination Department has issued a security order for the government offices in view of the prevailing law and order situation.

The order reads: “In view of the prevailing law and order situation in the country in general and in the province of Sindh in particular, as well as in the wake of the devastating and gruesome act of terrorism at the Karachi Stock Exchange, the competent authority has been pleased to restrict and prohibit the entry of all unauthorised vehicles and police mobiles and squads deployed with all VIPs and dignitaries in the Sindh Secretariat Buildings in order to ensure the fool proof security arrangements of the Sindh Secretariat Buildings as well as to streamline the traffic movement and parking of vehicles, as per the SOPs.”

It said all were requested to cooperate with the police and the security staff in implementing the decision. “It may please be noted that no unauthorised vehicle (without token) as well as police mobiles or squads would be allowed to enter the main gates of the secretariat buildings with effect from Wednesday, July1, 2020.”

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