Thursday May 06 2021
Web Desk

Sindh to tighten curbs as Karachi's coronavirus infection rate shoots up to 14%

Web Desk
A resident wearing a protective mask walks past Pakistan Army soldiers on patrol to enforce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) safety protocols in Karachi, Pakistan April 28, 2021. — Reuters/File

Karachi's coronavirus infection rate shot up to 14.32% in the last 24 hours, prompting the Sindh government to tighten the already imposed restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

"After Sunday, more strict measures would be taken to keep the people of the province restricted within their homes," read a statement issued by the Chief Minister House on Thursday.

In light of the increasing number of cases, Karachi's district administration sealed 64 shops, arrested seven persons, and warned 369, the statement said.

“People do not understand [gravity] of the situation,” Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said.

The chief minister, on the advice of the experts and members of the task force, has decided that from Friday all shops, including grocery stores, would be closed after 6pm.

The decision came during a meeting chaired by CM Shah, with provincial minister and advisers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Nasir Shah, Saeed Ghani, Murtaza Wahab, Qasim Siraj Soomro, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh Mushtaq Maher, and other concerned officials in attendance.

Restaurants will now not be able to offer takeaways after iftar, but they will be allowed to offer home delivery service.

Closing recreational places

CM Shah announced all recreational places, including Sea View, Hawksbay, and others would be closed to the public.

Vaccine supply

The chief minister also directed the health department to start giving vaccines to private hospitals with the direction to administer them free of cost.


The meeting proposed the chief minister speak to the federal government regarding banning passenger train services for the upcoming Eid holidays.

It was told that in the last 24 hours 1,239 passengers had arrived at Jinnah airport. Out of them, five tested positive and have shifted to a quarantine centre.

Health infrastructure

Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Secretary health Kazim Jatoi told the meeting that on the instructions of the chief minister quarantine facilities at local hotels were being revived.

Testing facilities all over Sindh are also being enhanced, she said, and added that import of small-scale oxygen generation plants was in progress.

Reviewing the status of critical care beds, it was disclosed that out of 647 ICU beds only 55 are occupied and 167 are vacant. Similarly, out of 1,796 HDU beds, 394 are occupied.

The chief minister directed district administration and the police to enforce SOPs properly.

Pakistan reports over 100 deaths

At least 108 more succumbed to the coronavirus during the past 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 18,537 in Pakistan as the country grapples with the third wave of the coronavirus.

According to the official data provided by National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday, 4,198 cases were reported when 46,467 tests were conducted across the country in the past 24 hours.

The positivity rate of coronavirus cases have been recorded at 9.03%.

The number of active cases stand at 84,172, with the nationwide recoveries rising to 743,124.

Moreover, about 5,624 coronavirus patients are admitted to 631 various hospitals with 651 patients on ventilators across the country.