Friday Jan 14 2022
By ,
Web Desk

Sindh to impose lockdown, shut schools on NCOC's recommendation: CM Shah

By ,
Web Desk
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah speaking to journalists at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on September 11, 2021. — Online/File
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah speaking to journalists at the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on September 11, 2021. — Online/File 

  • Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah says coronavirus situation is under control.
  • Says hospitalisations, ICU patients less in Karachi.
  • Karachi's coronavirus positivity ratio reaches 28.80%.

KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah said Friday the decision to impose a lockdown and close educational institutions will be taken in line with the National Command and Operation Centre's (NCOC) recommendations.

The chief minister's statement comes as Karachi's coronavirus positivity ratio reached 28.80% in the last 24 hours, according to NCOC's data released this morning.

CM Shah, speaking to journalists in Karachi, said coronavirus cases were spreading at a rapid pace, but the situation was under control as hospitalisations and patients in intensive care units (ICU) in the port city were less.

The Sindh CM highlighted that Karachi reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases a day earlier, but insisted that the pressure on hospitals is not increasing. 

"Whatever strategy we adopt, it will be in consultation with NCOC," he reiterated.

The chief minister said the provincial government is monitoring the coronavirus situation, as he noted that infections were not only rising in Sindh, but across the rest of Pakistan too.

Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Administrator Murtaza Wahab had earlier this week hinted at resorting to strict measures in order to limit coronavirus cases increasing with every passing day in Karachi.

Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country after the emergence of the Omicron variant, a meeting of education ministers' was called yesterday (Thursday) to decide the fate of schools, but was later postponed to next week.

Sindh registered 2,321 new cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours, according to official figures, bumping overall infections to 494,064 and death toll to 7,693.

Pakistan's infection rate over 7%

Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio jumped over 7% as the country reported 3,567 new cases — the highest since September 10, 2021 — in the last 24 hours, NCOC's data showed today morning.

The NCOC said 48,449 tests were conducted across the country, and 3,567 infections emerged, taking the positivity ratio to 7.36%. The country last reported an infection rate of 6.64% on August 31, 2021.

With the new infections, the overall tally has risen to 1.315 million, while seven more deaths have taken the death toll to 28,999.

Govt mulls restrictions

Parliamentary Secretary on Health Dr Nausheen said Friday the federal government was considering reimposing coronavirus restrictions, particularly on weddings.

Speaking on Geo News programme 'Geo Pakistan', she termed weddings as "super-spreaders" of COVID cases.

"We are considering completely banning eating at weddings as it is the peak time when the virus is spread as people remove their masks."

Hamid further added that this matter will be discussed in the upcoming NCOC meeting scheduled to be held in a day or two.

"We are going to re-follow the strategy applied previously regarding smart lockdown," she said, adding that lockdowns will only be imposed in areas where necessary.