The Government of Sindh is giving relief to business owners in view of Eidul Azha, which will be celebrated on July 10, by rescinding the restrictions on business hours with immediate effect.
The order issued by the home department states that the provincial government is suspending the notifications dated June 17, June 20, June 24 and June 25. The notifications had been issued to announce restrictions on the business hours of shops, restaurants, wedding halls and other businesses in the territorial jurisdiction of the province.
The suspension will remain in effect until July 10 in public interest, and the earlier notifications restricting business hours will come back into force on July 11, announced the home department.
A separate order was issued by the chief minister’s secretariat regarding compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the government to counter the variants of Covid-19.
The order states that in pursuance of the Sindh Services General Administration & Coordination Department’s circular dated June 29, and in the light of the exponential surge in positive Covid cases, and in order to protect precious human lives, the competent authority has directed SOP-compliance.
All the officers and officials of the secretariat and the House have been directed to ensure wearing masks within the premises of the secretariat and the House. All the visitors will also be required to wear masks within the premises of the secretariat and the House. Social distance must also be ensured in accordance with the SOP notified by the provincial government.
Two more dead
Officials said on Sunday that Covid-19 had claimed two more lives in Karachi over the past 24 hours, and that 27 more people had been admitted to different hospitals as the number of infection cases continued to increase in the city.
“As many as 430 more people were shown to have contracted Covid-19 after 2,010 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, while the Covid-19 positivity has reached 21.39 per cent,” said an official of the National Institute of Health.
The official said that two people had died due to complications of Covid in Karachi, while 97 people were undergoing treatment at various health facilities in the city.
Of them, 33 are on low-flow oxygen, 46 on high-flow oxygen and three on mechanical ventilation, while 15 patients are clinically stable, added the official. It is worth mentioning here that 30,401 people have lost their lives due to Covid across Pakistan, of whom 8,117 were from Sindh, with 6,362 of them just from Karachi.
Most affected city
On Saturday officials had said that an increase in the screening for Covid-19 showed that Karachi continued to be the most affected city. Two people had died and 20 others had been admitted to different hospitals because of the infectious disease.
Officials said that 528 more people had tested positive for Covid after 3,095 tests had been carried out over the past 24 hours, showing the city’s rate of positivity to be 17.06 per cent. Coronavirus cases had witnessed a sharp increase across the country after more than 800 infections had been registered in the past 24 hours, up from 694 on Friday, according to official statistics.
The data showed that one person had lost his life in Lahore due to complications resulting from a Covid infection, while the rate of positivity there had jumped to 5.58 per cent after 1,973 tests had been conducted.
Islamabad was the country’s third most affected city, where 52 more people had tested positive for Covid over the past 24 hours, with the rate of positivity being 4.05 per cent based on 1,283 tests that had been carried out there, said the officials.
This was the first time in nearly four months that the number of infections had gone beyond 800. The country had recorded 796 cases on March 4, but there had been a gradual decline since then. Infection cases started rising again in late June.
The latest official data showed that 18,305 Covid diagnostic tests had been conducted across Pakistan, resulting in 818 positive cases, raising the rate of positivity to 4.47 per cent from 3.93 per cent on Friday.
According to officials, the condition of 126 Covid patients was critical, and they were being treated in intensive care units at different medical facilities. Sindh’s Covid-19 task force, which had met on Friday to discuss the situation with CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, had warned of taking “tough measures” if the situation continued to worsen in the province, especially in Karachi.
The CM had said that if coronavirus cases continued to increase, the government might have to take drastic measures again. It was, however, noted that the hospital admission rate was still low. “Karachi has the highest number of weekly cases,” said Shah.
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