Wednesday January 26, 2022

Sindh announces new SOPs as Omicron threat looms large

December 01, 2021
Sindh announces new SOPs as Omicron threat looms large

The Sindh home department, acting on directives from the government, has announced new restrictions in view of the imminent threat of the entry of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 into Pakistan.

A notification issued by the department on Tuesday said that only 50 per cent of the seats could be used at public places in C-Category districts of the province. Referring to the NCOC’s November 30 letter, which communicated guidelines for the continuation of NPIs regime from December 1 to December 15 in the country based on the percentage-wise progress of vaccinated population, the notification said that Karachi Division, and Sukkur and Sanghar cities had been categorised as “B” (where there is good vaccination progress), while remaining divisions and cities of Sindh would fall within “C” category (with low vaccination progress).

Accordingly, the home department, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 3(1) of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act, 2014 (the Sindh Act VIII of 2015), issued on Tuesday orders for enforcement within the territorial jurisdiction of the province.

In the Sukkur and Sanghar cities and Karachi Division, permission has been granted for indoor gatherings of 500 individuals, and for outdoor gatherings of 1,000 fully vaccinated individuals.

According to the home department’s order, vaccinated persons are allowed to enter cinema halls across Sindh, business centres can be kept open till 10pm, while all educational institutions will remain open.

The new restrictions under the Infectious Diseases Act in Sindh will come into effect by December 15. The home department has issued a new order regarding coronavirus SOPs, according to which wedding gatherings of more than 300 people have been banned in Larkana, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad Division, Khairpur and Ghotki. Travel for tourism, amusement parks, swimming pools and air travel will be subject to the Covid vaccination.

Meanwhile, it was said the vaccination campaign was better in Karachi Division, Sanghar and Sukkur districts; therefore, they had been included in B Category.

No death reported

As many as 201 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in Sindh during the last 24 hours. In his daily report on Tuesday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said 201 cases emerged when 12,462 tests were conducted, showing a detection rate of 1.6 per cent. Fortunately, he said, no death was reported in the province. Until last Saturday, the number of deaths due to Covid-19 was 7,621, he said, adding that so far 6,744,105 tests had been conducted against which 474,749 cases had been detected. Of them, he said, 97 per cent or 460,427 patients have recovered, including 70 overnight.

Currently, 6,701 patients were said to be under treatment. Of them, 6,497 were in home isolation, 14 at isolation centres and 190 at hospitals. The condition of 185 patients was stated to be critical, including 16 shifted onto ventilators.