Lockdown restrictions to stay in place throughout Ramadan: Sindh government

Web Desk
A general view of a deserted road in a business district during a lockdown in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Karachi, Pakistan April 26, 2020. REUTERS

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday said that the lockdown restrictions it had imposed before the month of Ramadan will stay in place throughout the holy month.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the home department had issued a notification on April 23 which stated that the lockdown restrictions imposed before Ramadan will be implemented till the end of the holy month.

"The notification is valid till date and there are no plans to take it back," he said. "Some sectors have been allowed to resume work. They will be allowed to operate."

Wahab said that the government had allowed online businesses to operate and provide home delivery services to customers. He hoped that businessmen would continue to implement the agreed SOPs while resuming economic activities.

He criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that either the prime minister was confused or he was trying to confuse the masses. "When people praise the lockdown, our prime minister says 'We imposed a lockdown on March 13'. At another forum, he says that nobody thinks about the poor. Extending the lockdown till May 9 was the cabinet's decision, which is headed by the prime minister himself," he added.

Wahab said that PM Imran and his cabinet belonged to the elite class of the country. He said that the PTI was in power in three out of the four provinces of the country.

The Sindh government spokesperson said that he did not trust the Centre's assessment of the coronavirus situation. "If had not imposed timely lockdown, our hospitals would have felt the strain [of the coronavirus]," he said. "Over the past 24 hours, 12 deaths have been reported. If the lockdown restrictions are kept in place for the next 10-12 days, we will see better results," he added.

Earlier, a notification from the home department had stated that restrictions were to stay in place from 5pm to 8am throughout Ramadan. However, dairy shops will be allowed to remain open from 8am to 8pm during the holy month. Dairy shops, meanwhile, will not be allowed to sell iftar items.

Samosas, pakoras and fruit chaat can be delivered to homes during the holy month. All shopkeepers will have to implement delivery SOPs during the month. The decision taken to prohibit shops from selling iftar items was taken so as to discourage a lot of people from assembling at particular points.

The notification had also stated that due to the coronavirus, people had been instructed to offer Taraweeh prayers at home.