CM Sindh announces to ‘impose lockdown, closure of schools’ on NCOC’s recommendation

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah stated on Friday that the decision to impose a lockdown and closure of educational institutions will be considered in line with the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) recommendations.

The recent development comes after Karachi’s COVID-19 positivity ratio surged to 28.80% in the last 24 hours, according to NCOC’s data released this morning.

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.

While speaking to journalists in Karachi, the CM stated that COVID-19 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 CM stated that the provincial government is monitoring the COVID-19 situation, as he noted that infections were not only rising in Sindh, but across the rest of Pakistan too.

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

Amid surging COVID-19 cases in the country after the emergence of the Omicron variant, a meeting of education ministers’ was called yesterday 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.

It is pertinent to note that Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity ratio surged 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.

In this regard, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Dr Nausheen stated that the federal government was considering reimposing COVID-19 restrictions, particularly on weddings, as 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.”

“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.

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

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