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July 16, 2020

Makeshift animal markets can be set up at designated venues: CM Murad Ali Shah

Karachi

July 16, 2020

Keeping in view the upcoming religious festival of Eidul Azha, Sindh’s chief minister has allowed the setting up of makeshift animal markets at designated locations across the province. The permission is subject to compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be issued by the home department.

Syed Murad Ali Shah made the announcement during a meeting at the CM House on Wednesday. He was told that animal markets have been allowed to be established in the other provinces, so the Sindh government is also being approached for granting the local organisers a similar permission.

The chief executive said he is against granting permission to set up animal markets because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in view of the religious aspect, he allowed their establishment only in compliance with the SOPs to be issued by the home department.

He stressed that children will not be allowed to visit such markets, and ordered the health department to send its mobile teams to screen cattle traders, organisers of these markets and animal buyers for COVID-19.

He also directed Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah to inform all the divisional commissioners to designate specific areas, preferably out of towns or cities, to set up these markets in their respective areas so that the spread of the novel coronavirus can be avoided.

Shah ordered all the deputy commissioners and senior superintendents of police that they are not to allow traders to sell their animals in streets or on roads. “This will be dangerous and attract crowds of people, so this can’t possibly be allowed.”

He also ordered Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah to designate venues in every union council for sacrificing animals. “In such a serious situation of COVID-19, we can’t allow animal sacrifice in each and every street, but there must be an appropriate mechanism and designated areas for the purpose.”

‘Crisis not over’

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho told the CM that COVID-19 cases may be on the decline but this does not mean that the pandemic is over. The chief executive directed the health department to increase screening in the hot spots. “At least one person from each house must be tested in the areas where selective lockdown is imposed.”

He was told that testing in rural areas has increased, which is why cases there have seen a rise. He directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority through the CS to advise people via text messages to get themselves tested if they discover any COVID-19 symptoms.

The meeting was also attended by Labour Minister Saeed Ghani, CM’s Principal Secretary Sajid Jamal Abro, Additional Chief Secretary Home Usman Chachar, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon, Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi, Dr Bari and

Dr Faisal.