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April 14, 2021

Sindh extends Covid-19 lockdown till May 16

Karachi

April 14, 2021

The Sindh home department issued a new notification on Tuesday with a partial modification, extending the Covid-19 lockdown till May 16.

The notification reads, “In continuation and partial modification of this department’s order of even number dated March 31, 2021, and in pursuance of the decisions at the NCOC forum communicated vide letters, the Government of Sindh, in exercise of the powers under Section 3 (1) of Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 2014 (The Sindh Act VIII of 2015), is pleased to re-direct as under with immediate effect and till 16th May, 2021, unless changed or amended earlier.”

It says there will be broader lockdowns in areas having more than eight per cent positivity rate with stringent enforcement protocols based on risk assessment, and no mobility will be allowed except in emergency by commissioners and deputy commissioners under the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 2014.

According to the notification, there will be no indoor dining at restaurants, and outdoor dining will be allowed till 10pm, and thereafter only takeaway and home delivery will be

allowed.

All commercial and business timings, including markets, shopping malls and marriage halls, will stay open from 6am to 8pm except Fridays and Sundays per week. Essential services as clarified in this department’s letter dated April 8 will remain exempted.

All kinds of gatherings (indoor as well as outdoor), including social, cultural, political, sports, musical, religious, arc completely banned. Cinemas, shrines and amusement parks

will also stay closed, and there will be a ban on marriage functions indoor and outdoor.

The notification says 50 per cent of the staff of all public and private sector offices will work from home, and the intercity public transport will operate at 50 per cent capacity with strict SOPs compliance.

Compulsory mask-wearing and maintain social distance will be ensured at all government and private offices and public places. The disease spread will be reviewed on May 6 at the NCOC forum for any further required actions.

The SOPs, issued vide the home department, dated November 6, 2020, will be strictly complied with. The deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, labour officers, concerned as well as personnel of law enforcement agencies not below the rank of inspector police or equivalent rank of other law enforcement agencies are empowered under Section 3 (1) of the said acts to take legal action on any act contravention of this order or directions/notices issued there-under. Further legal action can also be taken under the relevant labour, industrial and other applicable laws.

Ramazan SOPs

The Sindh home department has issued standard operating procedures for the holy month of Ramazan.

The notification reads, “In pursuance to the unanimous declaration from President in consultation with Ulema as conveyed vide National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), government of Pakistan, Document dated January-2, 2021, the government of Sindh in exercise of powers under section 3 (I) of Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 2014 (Ad VIII of 2015) is pleased to adopt the same for implementation and arrangements for Namaz and Taraweeh in Masjid and Imambargahs throughout the province of Sindh from the date of commencement of Ramazan.”

It further says: “Carpet or rugs will not be spread and laid in Masajid or Imambargahs, prayers will be offered on the bare floors. Clean chatais can be used if the floor is earthen, and if people wish to bring their own prayer mats from home, they can do so.

“Before and after the prayers, people should avoid gathering in crowds. In Masajid and Imambargahs, where there is a courtyard, prayers will be offered not inside but in the courtyard. Those older than 50 years, adolescent children and those suffering from flu, cough, etc should not come to Masajid or Imambargahs.

“Namaz Taraweeh will be arranged within the boundaries of the Masajid or Imambargahs. Praying on roads and footpaths will be avoided. An attached map should be useful in this connection (with 6 feet distancing). The floor of the Masajid and Imambargahs should be cleaned with chlorine solution in water. The same solution should be used to wipe the chatais before Namaz, and rows of the praying individuals should he aligned so that there is a distance of 6 feet between individuals.

“Masajid and Imamhargahs should constitute committees consisting of responsible individuals who will ensure the adherence to precautionary measures. It will be easy for the Namazis if the administrators of Masajid and Imambargahs, place marks for the Namazis on the floors according to correct distances. This will facilitate in the placement of the Namazis. People should come to the Masajid or imambargahs after doing ablution and washing hands with soap for 20 seconds. It is obligatory that the mask is worn before coming to Masajid or Imambargahs and not to shake hands or hug anyone in the Masajid and Imambargahs.

“In the current situation, it is better that Aitikaf is performed at home. Sehr and Aftaar should not be arranged at the Masajid or the Imambargahs. The administration of Masajid, Imambargahs, and Imam and Khateebs should communicate and collaborate with the district and provincial authorities and the police. The administrations of the Masajid and the Imambargahs are being given permission conditional upon observation of these precautionary measures.”

The notification says: “If during Ramazan the government feels that these precautionary measures are not being observed or the number of affectees has risen to a dangerous level, then the government will revise its policy related to Masajid and Imambargahs, as for other departments. The government has also the right to change the orders and policy regarding severely affected specific areas.

“The Secretary, Auqaf and Religious Affairs Department, Sindh and the respective Commissioners of Divisions and Deputy Commissioners in Sindh are empowered under section 3 (1) of the above 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.

“The Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Labour Officers, concerned as well as personnel of Law Enforcement Agencies not below the rank of Inspector Police or equivalent rank of other law Enforcement Agencies are empowered under section 3 (1) of the said acts to take legal action on any Act contravention of this order or directions and notices issued there-under.”