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Monday Apr 26 2021
Web Desk

Lockdown in Sindh: Govt closes all schools, colleges and universities amid COVID-19 surge

Web Desk
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah chairing a meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus. Photo: Twitter/ Sindh CM House 

  • Sindh government announces ban on inter-city transport from April 29 onwards. 
  • The provincial government bans visits in jails, and bars public from entering government offices.
  • Decision taken in meeting of of provincial task force on coronavirus chaired by CM Murad Ali Shah.

KARACHI: Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab announced that all schools, colleges and universities will remain closed in the province due to the rising coronavirus cases in the provinces. 

Wahab tweeted that Sindh government offices will operate with an essential staff of 20% only as the country battles a dangerous third wave of coronavirus.

"All schools, colleges and universities shall also remain closed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases," said Wahab.

The Sindh government spokesperson’s tweet came after CM Murad Ali Shah chaired a meeting of the provincial Task Force on Coronavirus. 

The officials present in the meeting were briefed on the coronavirus situation in the province. They were told the province presently has 664 ICU beds with ventilators.

They were also informed that oxygen plants are present at Dow University Ojha Campus, Trauma Centre and Gambat Hospital.

Read more: Sindh govt seeks army's help in implementation of coronavirus SOPs

Following the meeting, a spokesperson of CM Sindh announced that government offices will be closed in Sindh. He added that the secretaries have been ordered to summon their important staff only and rest should work from home.

He also confirmed about the closure of educational institutes as announced by Wahab.

The provincial government, according to the spokesperson, has decided to ban visits in jails.

The spokesperson added that inter-city transport will also be banned in Sindh from Thursday, April 29.

Later, speaking to media CM Murad said Sindh government will also seek Pakistan Army's help in implementation of SOPs. 

Pakistan’s coronavirus tally crosses 800,000 mark

The decision by the provincial government came after 70 more people succumbed to coronavirus in Pakistan. 

The new deaths took the nationwide COVID-19 death toll to 17,187, while over 4,800 new infections have been reported across the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data showed.

As per the official data, 50,161 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, from which 4,825 tests returned positive.

Read more: Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah hints at imposing more coronavirus restrictions

The positivity rate of coronavirus in Pakistan stands at 9.61% as of today (Monday) whereas the number of active cases stands at 89,219.

The new cases have taken the national tally of positive cases to 800,452 with 285,542 reported in Punjab, 290,788 in Sindh, 114,077 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 72,613 in Islamabad, 21,743 in Balochistan, 16,591 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 5,258 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Highest single-day death toll

Pakistan on Saturday reported 157 deaths due to COVID-19, making it the country's highest single-day death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.

Previously, the highest death toll reported by the country was 153 on June 20 last year.

Govt seeks army's help in implementation of COVID-19 SOPs

The Federal Ministry for Interior on Sunday had issued a notification stating that Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Islamabad Capital Territory will (in accordance with their needs) seek the help of the Pakistan Army to strictly implement the coronavirus SOPs. The orders, however, do not apply to Sindh.

Read more: Sindh coronavirus task force suggests closing schools for 15 days

The Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed had made the announcement and said that the decision to seek the assistance of the armed forces was taken during a meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Coronavirus on Friday, April 23, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.