Covid-19 positivity hits 15% in Karachi

Chief secretary says marriage halls, cattle markets, restaurants will be sealed for violating SOPs

Sameer Mandhro July 13, 2021

The Covid-19 positivity ratio has been increasing in the last one week, reaching at 15 percent in the port city.

The bed occupancy rate in public and private hospitals have reportedly been said to be very high.

The overall positivity in Sindh province is almost seven percent with the highest in its capital while Hyderabad has a 4.5 percent positivity ratio. After ease in Covid-19 related restrictions, the citizens, the health professionals say, were not following the SOPs, while the ratio of vaccination was not up to the expectations either.

Owing to the prevailing situation, the government has decided on Monday, to seal the marriage halls, cattle markets, restaurants and markets if people were found violating SOPs like wearing facemasks and social distancing.

In a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, the health department's officials proposed to close primary schools, ban indoor dining and announce twoclose days a week.

According to Farhat Janwari, the spokesperson of the CS, the meeting has discussed different problems the health officials have been facing, including the violation of the SOPs by the general public. He said that all the proposals will be put before the task force meeting Shah said that marriage halls, cattle markets, restaurants and markets would be sealed for violating SOPs.

He directed all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners to take strict action against violators. He also directed them to impose smart lockdowns in the areas where cases of virus are on the rise. Health department's Secretary Kazim Hussain Jatoi proposed to close primary schools. He also suggested banning indoor dining, minimum attendance in wedding halls and complete closure of businesses at least twice a week.

Sources told The Express Tribune that all the schools which have completed their annual examinations will be closed.

"At least primary schools are going to close," an official said. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Director General Health Dr Irshad Memon confirming the number of cases in the province, said that the citizens have been ignoring following the guidelines set by the government.

"The situation is not good especially in Karachi," he warned. "Positivity ratio in Karachi has increased and going up," Dr Memon said, adding that the situation in hospitals was also alarming. The officials of the health department said that only 3.35 million people in the province have been vaccinated. Total 647 vaccination centres and 347 mobile teams were offering free vaccination against the pandemic virus across the province. Shah has directed the officials to complete the target of vaccination, saying that all measures should be taken to stop the spread of the virus.

It was also decided that more mobile teams for vaccination will be set up so the maximum population could avail the facility. A senior official unwilling to be quoted said that the health department was not ready to lift the restrictions.

"Third-wave entered and the attitude of the general public is indifferent." He said that the lockdown was inevitable in the current situation. "The number of positive patients will go up even before Eidul Adha," he said. The senior officials have warned that the situation will be out of control if the general public does not follow SOPs during Eid holidays.

They also urged the citizens to go for vaccination.


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