Friday May 07 2021
Web Desk

Defying COVID-19 protocols, Pakistani traders vow to keep businesses running till chand raat

Web Desk
Picture showing a crowded, open-air market. Photo:File.
  • Defying the government's orders, Pakistan Traders Association says all businesses will operate from tomorrow until chand raat.
  • Traders say they will keep all commercial activities running across Pakistan, including GB and AJK.
  • They say if the govt cannot provide relief to the business community, it should not shut markets down.

ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Traders Association on Friday evening announced it would continue to carry out all commercial activities starting tomorrow until chand raat — a day before Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to the All Pakistan Traders Association President Ajmal Baloch, as against the directives of the government, all markets and businesses will operate across the country, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.

"We should be allowed to operate businesses 24 hours as the Saudi government did," said Baloch, adding if the government does not have the means to provide relief to the business community, then it should not tell trades to shut down their businesses.

A day ago, the deputy commissioner of Islamabad had announced that a full lockdown would be imposed in the federal capital from today (May 7) in a bid to curb the rising number of coronavirus infections.

Public transport will be suspended after 6pm, the deputy commissioner had said, adding that all parks, recreational places, and commercial areas will also be closed after 6 pm.

The authorities will ensure that people follow the government's mandated "Stay Home, Stay Safe" policy, the deputy commissioner added.

Akin to that, two days ago, the Punjab government had also announced that a full lockdown will be imposed across the province throughout the Eid holidays (May 8 to May 16) to curb the rising number of coronavirus infections.

The Sindh government also announced a new set of restrictions as part of the national “Stay Home- Stay Safe” drive to curb coronavirus during the Eid holidays.

In a notification issued by the Sindh Home Department, the provincial government stated that the new restrictions will remain in place from May 9 to 16.

According to a notification issued in this regard, all markets, businesses and shops will remain closed during the period except essential services. Special Eid bazaars / 'Chand-Raat Bazars' mehndi, jewellery/ornaments shops shall remain closed during the period being non-essential.

Pakistan reports 4,298 coronavirus cases in a day

Pakistan continues to report a large number of coronavirus cases across the country, with 4,298 people testing positive for the virus, with 140 people succumbing to the infection. 

The country passed the grim milestone of 850,000 cases in total while the total death toll has climbed to 18,677.

The total number of recoveries reported across the country stands at 747,755 while the active number of cases has risen to 83,699.

Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio stands at 9.58%.

As Eid approaches, Dr Faisal Sultan warns Pakistanis of a 'very risky period'

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Thursday warned Pakistanis of a "very risky period ahead" as Ramadan comes to an end and the days of Eid-ul-Fitr holidays approach.

"We are today in the midst of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic and while there may be very initial signs of some stability (in the third wave), these are very early days and this is a very risky period for us as the holy month of Ramazan is going to end and Eid is approaching," he said during a webinar.

He called on microbiologists and scientists to keep warning people about the dangers of the coronavirus and encourage them to keep following the standard operating procedures for safety against the infection.

The webinar, titled "SOPs and vaccination: Solution for the Covid-19 Pandemic," was attended by microbiologists, molecular biologists, medical professionals and students from Pakistan as well as abroad.

Speaking about Punjab, Dr Sultan said the curve is flattening in Punjab and the same was the case in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, he said coronavirus cases were on the rise in Sindh due to low compliance of SOPs by the masses, adding that now was not the time to get complacent as Pakistan still had more than 5,200 in critical care.

"Covid-19 cases may rise again if precautions are not taken during this critical period when we are seeing the last days of the holy month of Ramazan and Eid is a festive season," he said.