–Four Aga Khan Hospital staff members test positive for COVID-19
KARACHI: Hundreds of vehicles with thousands of passengers have been stranded at Punjab-Sindh border after the provincial government shut down the border in a bid to control the spread of deadly coronavirus as the provincial tally rose to 503 on Sunday.
According to the details, thousands of passengers are stranded at the provincial border due to the lockdown. The Stranded people are worried about a possible shortage of food and water.
The Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah has said that citizens would not be allowed back in Punjab. “The Punjab government, in consultation with Sindh government, had sealed its border for passenger transport, therefore, they would not allow them to enter into Punjab,” he said.
“I would like to advise you not to leave your home during these critical days,” he said, adding that through the home department, he had issued directives to all deputy commissioners (DCs) to not allow any inter-district passenger transport either.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Police introduced an application to monitor the movements of citizens during the lockdown in the province.
As part of the application, the police enters the CNIC number of a person and the area where he was stopped. The information is then uploaded on the application which becomes accessible to all the units. However, a person is only allowed to travel twice during the day.
Media personnel and medical staff are, however, exempted from the order.
The Sindh government has so far taken the strictest measures to contain the outbreak as compared to other provinces.
Commenting on Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah’s efforts against the pandemic, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry lauded his timely actions.
“Some provincial governments have played a dynamic role but some did not; in this regard, Sindh government remained the most proactive,” Chaudhry said.
“This is why the Sindh chief minister deserves appreciation and I commend his efforts. I congratulate him on that,” he added.
It may be mentioned here that the Sindh CM announced further restrictions on citizens. He directed city police officials to ensure that any rickshaw operating in Karachi during the lockdown should not carry more than two passengers.
“Those violating the order should be made to abort their journey while the rickshaws should be impounded,” Shah said.
When asked what issued were being faced by the authorities in enforcing the lockdown orders, DIG South Zone said the police had easily persuaded the residents of Defence to observe the lockdown, however, they were facing difficulties in convincing people from the old city areas such as Lyari and Saddar to stay indoors.
“We have been facing difficulties to a certain extent but as the time passes on, people have come to realise the situation as they have now started to obey the lockdown orders by staying at home,” he remarked.
The chief minister also said that those coming out of their houses without any valid reason should be stopped. “No residential street should have more than two people at a time and any extra people seen on the streets should be sent to their houses,” he said.
“Shoppers outside a grocery market should maintain some distance among them”, he added.
Meanwhile, four doctors and related staff at the top hospitals of Karachi, including the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and the Liaquat National Hospital (LNH), tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
The hospitals are now screening and testing AKUH doctors, paramedics, and staff for the virus.
The Sindh health department confirmed 33 new locally transmitted cases of coronavirus in Karachi, bringing the Sindh’s tally to 502 on Sunday.
With the new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Karachi now stands at 222. There are seven patients in Hyderabad and one in Dadu. 265 pilgrims at Sukkur quarantine centre and seven in Larkana have also been tested positive so far.