Micro smart lockdowns imposed in COVID-19 hotspots


Authorities have imposed micro smart lockdowns in Karachi’s COVID-19 hotspots to curb virus spread

In the wake of surging COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, authorities in Karachi’s District Central have announced micro smart lockdowns in a number of areas under its jurisdiction with the aim of curbing the spread of the virus.

This development has come days after the district administration ordered micro smart lockdowns in nine union councils of Gulberg, North Karachi and North Nazimabad until March 31. The authorities have ordered micro smart lockdowns in the union committees of North Karachi Sector 2, 5A-2, 14-B, 7D and 11-D, Liaquatabad Area C and C-1, and North Nazimabad Block L and N.

As per the latest notification issued on Tuesday, the restrictions have been extended to three subdivisions in North Karachi, North Nazimabad, and Liaquatabad towns until April 6. The decision to impose lockdowns in these virus hotspots in Karachi was taken in line with the recommendations made by the district health officer.

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According to the details of of the notification, everyone will have to wear face mask at all times while entering or leaving the lockdown areas. Non-essential movements will not allowed in the virus hotspots. Any individual who tested COVID-19 positive in the area will have to undergo mandatory home quarantine.

At the same time, all business and industrial activities, public transportation and family gatherings have been suspended in the affected areas during the lockdown. All home deliveries and takeaways from restaurants, fast food joints and other eateries have also been banned in these regions. Meanwhile, only groceries, pharmacies and other convenience stores have been permitted to remain open during specific timings as per directives issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The Sindh government has assured that it will take all possible steps and employ all necessary resources to ensure the essential rations are supplied to the needy in the areas through philanthropic organisations. Besides mandatory face mask wearing and maintaining social distancing, the government will carry out intensive contact tracing and testing to reduce the spread o the COVID-19 virus.

In addition, the NCOC has also decided to extend lockdowns in 10 cities where the Coronavirus positivity ratio is more tha 8 percent, including Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur, Faisalbad, Hyderabad, Swat, Peshawar and Muzaffarabad. The NCOC has imposed no free movement, except for emergencies, in these regions until April 11 in order to curtail the transmission of the virus. Reportedly, edible items and other essential items will be provided by the government authorities to people’s houses through online services.

Last week, Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity rate increased to 8 percent after an unprecedented rise in the infected cases. Prime Minister Imran Khan and first lady Bushra Bibi also tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

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