It's that time of the year again! The time where you should mask up and adhere to the SOPs strictly due to the rise of Covid-19 cases in the country. However, while Karachi's positivity rate reaches 20% in the last 36 hours, the port city’s biggest food festival, Karachi Eat, is still happening from January 14 to 16 at Beach View Park, Clifton.
With a sharp rise in coronavirus cases fuelled by the Omicron variant, many have expressed reservations about organising the event, which will see thousands of attendees. Many took to social media and shared Karachi Eat should be delayed to control the rise in the Covid-19 cases.
Really excited about Karachi CovEat 2022. Pakistan had yet to create its own variant and this gives us a great chance. Proud of everyone planning to attend.— Ahmer Naqvi (@karachikhatmal) January 12, 2022
#KarachiEat is going to start tomorrow. When I reported this, positivity rate was 15.52%. Yesterday, it went over 22% &is expected to go up further. But they're going to organize #karachieat, with hundred of thousands expected during 3-day food festival https://t.co/bvIyxNheHb— Naimat Khan (@NKMalazai) January 13, 2022
There's still time to avert the disaster we're heading towards - @murtazawahab1, please look into the prospects of converting the festival into a delivery only enterprise. Reorganising things wont be easy, but it isn't impossible. #KarachiEat #Covid_19 #Karachi #Pakistan— Yusra Askari (@YusraSAskari) January 13, 2022
people excited to buy overpriced food at karachi eat won't get affected in case lockdown is imposed. They can afford to live in their house for few more months but masses can't. y'all look around and stop letting them influence you w their fancy insta stories. Follow SOPs— a. (@AkramaMianoor) January 12, 2022
Guys, more than 3000 cases of covid are reported today. I already told you about the situation in Agha Khan. This variant is not to be taken lightly. I’d REQUEST that pls DO NOT go to Karachi Eat this weekend, they can’t manage a 10K crowd of people at all 1/2— Tooba/Babar Azam Stan Acc (@toobamujeeb_) January 13, 2022
Listen to me. you don't have to go to KHI Eat. This isn't you, Karachi. Be smarter. You don't have to go. Let the rich IG influenzas do whatever tf they want. Shame them if they go and post stories. Unfollow. But You. Don't. Go.— spicy mahajir (@doctorwhothefuc) January 13, 2022
people who will still be attending #KarachiEat will from now be knows as the 'Karachi Dheat'— HawkesBay (Løuche) (@HawkesBay) January 13, 2022
Not even surprised that Karachi Eat is still happening. After all money is more important than peoples health— Yashfa (@BiryaniWoman) January 12, 2022
Are they going to cancel Karachi Eat? Or are we about to launch a brand new corona variant?— mnl🧣 (@meemelif) January 10, 2022
The COVID cases are increasing and we're hearing about the lockdown. So, many questions have been risen regarding Karachi Eat event.#KarachiEatCanWait— Sagar Samy (@sagarsamy) January 13, 2022
Mohsin Ahmed, (Head of PR) at East River, the official agency for Karachi Eat, shared that strict SOPs will be followed in the event. In a statement to The Express Tribune, Ahmed said, "Karachi Eat is cognizant of the prevailing situation in the city, which is why all possible safety precautions have been deployed to ensure a safe and enjoyable festival for all the citizens of Karachi."
The statement further added, "All our vendors have been strictly informed of our protocols and have all agreed to help us in ensuring everyone’s safety." He added that attendees who are willing to buy the tickets at the venue will not be entertained. "We have not only facilitated online tickets but will no longer entertain ticket sales at the venue on Friday the opening day to avoid long queues and unnecessary gatherings."
The statement further read, "Again, we urge everyone attending to make sure you are vaccinated and masked up. There will be a zero-tolerance policy for violations and teams have been deployed at all areas to ensure that SOPs are followed."
What started in 2014 at Frere Hall with a few stalls has now become one of the biggest and most awaited food festivals in the metropolis with a bigger venue and an even bigger number of stalls.
Thousands of foodies flock to the festival each year, offering a diverse range of local and international cuisines and live performances. The experts have warned against holding such events as the Sindh health department reported over 22% coronavirus positivity rate in Karachi.
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