Sunday Jun 06, 2021
Despite warnings from the Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho regarding an increase in the ratio of coronavirus positivity in the province, the Sindh government today announced easing the restriction it had put in place 15 days ago, leaving medical experts baffled.
As per the announcement made by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, following a meeting of the Sindh Coronavirus Task Force, shops will now be allowed to remain open until 8 pm, while outdoor dining, the opening of beaches, salons, and schools and educational institutions from class 9 and onwards have been allowed.
It should be recalled that the ratio of COVID-19 cases in Karachi has come down from 12.45% on June 1, 2021, to 8.25% on June 5. But it was observed that the death rate among infected patients was still 1.6%.
Speaking on the government's decision to east the coronavirus restrictions in Sindh, Dr Qaiser Sajjad, the secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said that Punjab health minister Yasmeen Rashid and the Punjab government had done a very good job in controlling the pandemic and the results were visible.
He said that unless a uniform policy is formulated on the coronavirus issue throughout the country, the situation will not improve.
Dr Sajjad added Pakistan will only be able to control the pandemic if 500,000 to 600,000 people get vaccinated every day.
"Vaccination is a very important issue, every person will have to get vaccinated," he said.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah announced some relaxations to the coronavirus restrictions which had been in place for the last 15 days.
The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Sindh Coronavirus Task Force on Sunday. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, Education minister Saeed Ghani, Senator Murtaza Wahab, Nasir Shah, police higher-ups, members from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and other prominent government officials were also in attendance.
During the meeting, the Sindh government decided to allow shops and markets to remain open till 8pm instead of 6pm from Monday, June 7. However, the CM said that all shopkeepers and staffers must get vaccinated for the coronavirus.
"After 14 days, the vaccination certificates of all staff members and shopkeepers will be randomly checked," the CM said.
Restaurants will be allowed to open outdoor dining until 12 am from June 7. However, restaurants will have to ensure that there is sufficient distance between people sitting in the outdoor areas.
Earlier, the provincial government had imposed a complete ban on both indoor and outdoor dining due to the rising number of coronavirus cases.
The provincial government also decided to reopen the beaches as well as the Sea View for recreational purposes.
All salons and beauty parlours will be allowed to operate under strict coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs) starting Monday.
Marriage halls and outdoor weddings will be allowed to reopen after two weeks, the CM announced.
Schools and educational institutions, for classes IX and above, will reopen from June 7 (Monday). The Sindh government, however, has made it mandatory for all teachers and staffers to get vaccinated.
"Sindh Corona Task Force has decided to reopen educational institutions of Sindh for class 9th and above from 7th June(tomorrow) with strict SOPs. All staff must be get vaccinated," tweeted education minister Saeed Ghani.