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March 29, 2020

Home department issues notification of new timings for shops in Sindh


March 29, 2020

In accordance with the new lockdown orders announced by the Sindh chief minister a day earlier, the Sindh home department issued a notification on Saturday to formally amend the rules of the lockdown, including the change in market timings.

According to the notification, there shall be a strict ban on movement of persons from 5pm till 8am and all the grocery, convenience, general and departmental stores will remain closed during this time. Earlier, such stores were allowed to operate from 8am till 8pm.

The notification also directs all the medical stores, except those situated within or adjacent to public and private hospitals, to remain closed after 5pm.

The movement of any person is strictly not allowed during this time except in medical emergency or in case of staff responding to issues related to essential services like electricity and gas, and hospital staff.

From 5am till 5pm, the government has allowed the activities and related movements like the collection, loading and transportation of fresh dairy products such as milk, etc., and poultry products from source to the distribution points and shops. Similarly, the collection, loading and distribution of newspapers is also allowed.

Orders for employers

The new notification has asked the owners and management of industries and commercial entities concerning the production of essential commodities and medicines, and other related activities in the supply chain to ensure that their employees maintain safe distance with each other and precautionary measures have been adopted at the workplace.

“Employers and managers of permissible commercial entities dealing with customers are to ensure that adequate space is available inside the store and the customers are maintaining safe distance and adhering to precautions. Floor markings and volunteers may be required to guide the customer flow in queues,” the notification reads.

The employers have also been directed to ensure that any employees complaining or having symptoms of the novel coronavirus are tested, isolated and reported as per the practice in vogue. The employers have been warned that they will be held responsible in case of failure to comply with the above orders.

The notification reads that the assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners may seek help from the law enforcement agencies to implement precautionary methods where required and take action against persons not complying with them.

Other directives

The staff of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) is allowed to go on duty to run online tax-related systems and perform other essential duties.

The trucks at the Karachi port may leave the port for the inter-provincial transport of goods during the night hours. Such trucks have to use the Northern Bypass route.

For the non-essential commodities that have already been manufactured, the government granted one-time permission to transport such goods inside the city and to other provinces. However, no new production of non-essential items is allowed.

The inter-provincial transport of food items would be regulated by the provincial food department.

Pet shops can be opened to feed the animals confined therein. Such shops may open from 12pm to 2pm for only feeding the confined pets and no sale or other activity is allowed there.

The commissioners and deputy commissioners of the respective divisions and districts in Sindh are authorised to issue any further orders, directions or notices in coordination and consultation with the respective DIGs and SSPs and the corresponding officer of the Pakistan Rangers at the division and district levels. Such orders shall come in force at once and remain in force for 10 days.