Sindh on Sunday announced a 15-day lockdown in Sindh in a bid to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown started at midnight.
Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah shared the details of the lockdown in a video message earlier today instead of a live press conference. Therefore, the Sindh government’s home department also shared a notice with details of the lockdown.
Check Out: Parhlo Live blog on COVID-19
According to it, “there shall be a complete ban on movement of people including Intercity or Interprovincial travel or gatherings of any kind for social, religious, or any other purpose at any place, public or private, including all offices, public or private situated within the territorial limits of the province of Sindh.”
However, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah maintained that strict decisions are being taken after the consultation of all political parties, stakeholders and concerned departments for the safety of people.
کورونا وائرس کا پھیلاؤ روکنے کے پیش نظر سندھ میں آج رات 12 بجے سے لاک ڈاؤن کا فیصلہ کیا گیا ہے جس کی وجہ سے غیر ضروری طور پر باہر نکلنا اور اجتماعات پر مکمل پابندی عائد کی جائیگی۔@MuradAliShahPPP pic.twitter.com/75ofiedwd8
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) March 22, 2020
Who have been exempted?
Certain personnel have been exempted from the lockdown, which included:
- Health services
- Law enforcement agencies
- Those in need of medical care with an attendant where necessary
- Person going to buy groceries and medicines
- Necessary/unavoidable religious rites
- Any exemption deemed necessary by the government
Meanwhile, those who are exempted will be allowed to:
- Travel in single numbers
- One person per family may go out to buy essential medicine, groceries etc with a driver only in the case of the elderly or handicapped
- Person on vehicles carrying essential food items
- Persons exempted to carry CNIC; should maintain social distance and take safety precautions
Similarly, essential services exempt from the ban on movement are:
- health and related services
- food and related industry/manufacturers
- grocery stores, general and convenience stores
- fish, meat, vegetable/fruit vendors and dairy shops
- essential municipal services
- electricity and SSGC
- water supply
- port operations, PNSC and custom services
- PTA/PTCL/NTC service staff
- cellular companies service staff for repair maintenance of towers/cables
- banks (with limited staff for services)
- petrol pumps
- welfare organisations
- media persons authorised by information department, newspaper hawkers and
- any other class deemed essential
— GOS-COVID19 (@19sindh) March 22, 2020
According to the notification, if anyone violated the orders, he or she will be punishable under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Meanwhile, the Sindh government has also sought the Pakistan army’s help to deal with COVID-19.
Sindh Police vehicles have started patrolling residential streets in Karachi and instructing people to remain inside their house via loudspeakers. Please maintain isolation and respect the lockdown #CoronaFreePakistan #LockDownPakisan
— Usama Akhtar (@iamua19) March 22, 2020
The administrative order by Commisioner #Karachi has really shown the seriousness of the situation as per requirement of the day. It has also withdrawn the previous order for giving certain exemptions. #COVIDー19 pic.twitter.com/Z0c9ExUzJo
— Iftikhar Firdous (@IftikharFirdous) March 22, 2020
Amid increasing calls for a countrywide lockdown which Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected, the decision of the Sindh government to close the province was appreciated by the experts and locals.
Sindh govt deserves high commendation for the lockdown, CM Murad Ali Shah deserves credit for decisive leadership.
— Dr. Kaiser Bengali (@kaiserbengali) March 22, 2020
— Mehmal Sarfraz (@Mehmal) March 22, 2020
Just watched Murad Ali Shah’s address.
I’m no fan, and he has his MEGA faults, but that was a leadership level speech. It honestly felt like everything is under control.
Also very heartening to see it was nonpartisan. All party leaders there. Bravo Sindh. For once I’m proud.
— Tony washyodamnhands Khan (@marketingdude) March 22, 2020
And, Karachi gets into the lockdown mood because the fight against coronavirus has just started.
— FK ?? will persevere! (@faisalkapadia) March 22, 2020