KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: The Sindh government Friday announced it was reimposing coronavirus restrictions starting Monday after the positivity ratio in the province crossed 10.3 percent.
The decision came during a meeting of the Provincial Coronavirus Task Force chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, reports Geo News.
According to a notification issued by the home department, general businesses, shopping malls, shops, and department stores will only be allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm.
Stand-alone grocery stores, milk shops, bakeries, fruit/vegetable vendors and pharmacies, however, are exempt from this rule.
The provincial government has placed a "complete ban" on all functions and gatherings, including wedding and related functions, whether held indoors or outdoors.
The authorities have also banned indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, which will only be allowed to offer takeaway till 10pm and delivery services till midnight.
Education institutions in the province will remain closed from July 26 to 31, but examinations will be held as per schedule. All public places will also remain closed to visitors.
Offices, both in the public and private sectors, shall function with only 50 percent staff, while workers and staff of all businesses must be fully vaccinated.
The curbs will be subject to a review after one week.
The health secretary informed the meeting that the positivity ratio of the province had climbed to 10.3 percent, while the situation in Karachi was particularly bad, with a positivity ratio of 21.58%.
Shah observed that the coronavirus situation in the province was indeed alarming and warned of it worsening after Eid, where large gatherings were customary.
Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi told the participants that 85 percent of the patients admitted to Sindh’s hospitals were not vaccinated.
In a parallel development, the Sindh government is seeking to block the mobile SIMs of unvaccinated people.
Adviser to the Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab tweeted that the Sindh government had decided to write to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in this regard.
A spokesperson for the Sindh CM said the PTA would be asked to send messages to the telecom users asking them to get vaccinated and block the SIMs of those not getting the jab within a week.
The chief minister also said the salaries of unvaccinated government employees must be stopped from next month. Instructions have been issued in this regard to the secretary finance.
APP adds: Meanwhile, the national tally of active COVID-19 cases was Friday recorded 53,623 with 1,425 more people testing positive and 543 recovering in the 24 hours.
Eleven corona patients died during the 24 hours, according to the latest update issued by the National command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
Most of deaths occurred in the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) followed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Out of the total 11 patients who died in the 24 hours, three died on the ventilator.
There were 2,525 infected patients under treatment in critical condition in various COVID dedicated healthcare facilities.
The national positivity ratio during past 24 hours was recorded 5.65 percent.
The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major cities including Islamabad 22%, Lahore 19%, Peshawar 17% and Multan 15%. Around 254 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country while no affected person was on ventilator in Balochistan, and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).
Some 25,215 tests were conducted across the country on Thursday, including 9,875 in Sindh, 8,970 in Punjab, 3,464 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 1,174 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 665 in Balochistan, 637 in GB, and 430 in AJK.
Around 923,472 people have recovered so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio.
Since the pandemic broke out, a total of 1,000,034 cases have been detected that also included the perished, recovered and under treatment COVID-19 patients so far, including AJK 22,592, Balochistan 29,357, GB 7,607, ICT 85,230, KP 141,359, Punjab 351,707 and Sindh 362,182.
About 22,939 deaths have been recorded in the country since the eruption of the contagion.
Around 5,785 people perished in Sindh, 10,909 in Punjab, 4,405 in KP, 789 in ICT, 321 in Balochistan, 122 in GB and 608 in AJK.
A total of 15,584,899 tests have been conducted so far, while 639 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities across the country.
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