KARACHI: The government of Sindh on Wednesday green-signalled the establishment of cattle markets across the province ahead of Eid-ul-Azha but under a strict compliance with the coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs), a statement from the Chief Minister House said .
The decision was taken by Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah after he chaired an important meeting pertaining to the establishment of cattle markets before Eid-ul-Azha.
Health Minister Dr Azar Fazal Pechuho, Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani, Additional Inspector-General Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Health Kazim Jatoi, Dr Bari, Dr Faisal, and others concerned attended the meeting.
CM Shah was informed that setting up cattle markets has been allowed in other provinces of the country, prompting the organisers to approach the Sindh government for granting permission to allow mandis to be established in the province.
“Since a religious aspect is attached with the cattle mandis, therefore [the chief minister] is allowing their establishment but under strict SOPs to be issued by the home department,” the statement said.
The chief minister directed authorities to allocate specific places where animals can be sacrificed. "If animals are slaughtered in streets everywhere, this will lead to the spread of diseases," he said, directing authorities to establish designated places at the Union Council level.
CM Shah also directed the chief secretary to inform all the divisional commissioners to designate specific areas, preferably out of cities and towns, for the establishment of the markets in a bid to curb coronavirus.
The chief minister ordered all the deputy commissioners and SSPs to prohibit the sale of cattle on the streets or roads.
“This will be dangerous and attract crowds of people, therefore this cannot be allowed,” the statement added.
It was decided that coronavirus testing will be conducted by mobile teams at the cattle market. The meeting agreed on increasing testing for the virus in COVID-19 hotspots.
The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) had formulated the Standard Operating Procedures on Monday regarding the cattle markets and smart lockdown in several places of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
In a meeting presided by NCOC chairman Asad Umar, the session was briefed that the plan for congregational prayers will be the same as of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The forum was told that around 700 cattle markets will be functioning across Pakistan on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, for which necessary guidelines have been forwarded.
The NCOC chair said the local administrations should ensure that the cattle markets operate from 6am to 7pm. Among other guidelines, it was decided that the screening of those entering the markets was mandatory.
People would be asked to ensure they are wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.
Officials would make sure that only a designated number of people be allowed inside at one time to avoid overcrowding.
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