Sindh lockdown update: Businesses allowed to remain open for next two days

Sindh lockdown update: Businesses allowed to remain open for next two days

Sindh Information Minister Nasir Shah. Photo: File

Sindh Information Minister Nasir Shah announced on Thursday that the authorities will allow businesses to remain open in the province on Friday and Saturday from 6am till 6pm.

“All businesses will remain open on Friday and Saturday from 6am till 6pm,” said the minister in a statement.

Nasir said that businessmen can carry out their routine activities on both days if they follow the coronavirus standard operating procedures. He also hoped that people visiting for shopping will follow the SOPs.

“From Sunday onwards business will be closed; a separate notification for this will be issued [later],” said the minister.

Sindh to further tighten curbs

The statement is in line with a similar one issued by the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah today.

The notification was issued after Karachi’s coronavirus infection rate shot up to 14.32% in the last 24 hours, prompting the Sindh government to tighten the already imposed restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus.

“After Sunday, more strict measures would be taken to keep the people of the province restricted within their homes,” read a statement issued by the Chief Minister House.

In light of the increasing number of cases, Karachi’s district administration sealed 64 shops, arrested seven persons, and warned 369, the statement said.

“People do not understand [gravity] of the situation,” Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said.

The chief minister, on the advice of the experts and members of the task force, has decided that from Friday all shops, including grocery stores, would be closed after 6pm.

The decision came during a meeting chaired by CM Shah, with provincial minister and advisers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Nasir Shah, Saeed Ghani, Murtaza Wahab, Qasim Siraj Soomro, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh Mushtaq Maher, and other concerned officials in attendance.

Restaurants will now not be able to offer takeaways after iftar, but they will be allowed to offer home delivery service.

Sindh announces closure of businesses on Friday, Sunday

Last month, the Sindh government had announced that businesses across the province would remain closed on Fridays and Sundays, as coronavirus cases witnessed a surge in the country.

Grocery shops, medical stores, dairy shops, and other businesses that fall under essential services will be exempted from the restriction, the notification issued by the Home Department at the time said.

“Keeping in view the feedback from field formations on implementation of two safe days per week where different business within same locality/premises are observing different safe days in a week and therefore, the need to avoid confusion and implementation issue the two days Friday and Sunday are declared as safe days for all businesses except essential services,” the notification said.

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