Balochistan struggles to enforce Covid SOPs

Govt fears spike in infections after Eid holidays

APP May 12, 2021
Flouting Covid SOPs, citizens throng markets as Eidul Fitr approaches. PHOTO: ONLINE


Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani on Tuesday said the BAP-led government was struggling to implement SOPs devised by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Shahwani said the number of rising positive Covid cases in Balochistan has forced the provincial government to take measures to ensure implementation of guidelines laid out by the NCOC to contain the spread of coronavirus.

He said the decision of a complete lockdown will be made by NCOC as the situation is getting worst every day.

Shahwani added that the Balochistan government is implementing restrictions from May 8 till May 16 across the province according to the decision of NCOC in order to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

In the current situation, the government is requesting the business community and public transporters to follow the guidelines.

"Some people spend more time shopping who are not just playing with their lives but putting the lives of their children at risk as the cases of coronavirus are on the rise", he said. “Last time during Eid break, the positivity rate had increased by three to four times.”

He feared that the same situation can take place if care is not exercised this year.

Shahwani highlighted that in the previous lockdown, rations of Rs995 million was distributed by the provincial government, adding that if the number of cases increases, the lockdown period might extend beyond May 16.

Senior doctors have also expressed concern over the increase in cases, so there will be a complete ban on chand raat.

Shahwani hoped to witness a drop in Covid cases after the lockdown by May 16. He urged the public to spend their Eid holidays at home with their families.

The Balochistan health department reported 121 new Covid cases on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases up to 23,655. The number of active cases currently stood at 1,388 with 255 overall confirmed deaths. According to the Balochistan coronavirus cell, no Covid patient is currently on a ventilator in the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2021.