Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has expressed satisfaction that better compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the people has helped check the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Briefing media persons at National Co-ordination and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad yesterday, he pointed out that the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals yesterday were less than those which were in the midst of June.
The Covid-19 respiratory disease is caused by the coronavirus.
Similarly, there is reduction in the number of deaths as well as the patients on ventilators and oxygen.
The minister stressed that the situation could further improve if the people continue to follow the precautionary measures.
He appreciated the efforts put in by the administration and provincial governments to ensure compliance of the SOPs.
Umar said however that while the country’s overall coronavirus situation is getting better, there is a significant lack of improvement in Sindh, particularly in the provincial capital Karachi.
“There is only one area where we are not seeing that much improvement, which is in Sindh, especially Karachi,” he said.
Umar maintained that to address this, the NCOC team held a meeting with the provincial chief secretary and the provincial health minister and is working on a way to replicate the results from the rest of the country in Sindh.
He also urged citizens to remain mindful of the fact that an improvement is only being seen because the people are following precautionary measures.
“Don’t take this to mean that the pandemic is going away on its own and you can do whatever you want,” the minister cautioned, adding that a lapse in following preventative measures could cause the number of cases to rise again.
“I had earlier warned that our cases could reach 1.2mn by end July if we don’t take action or follow preventive measures. But because people are following precautionary measures and the administration is also taking action, this number may be less than 400,000.”
He concluded the press conference by urging the public to follow doctors’ advice.
In light of the recommendations made by the district health officer, certain areas in Karachi were placed under a “smart lockdown” yesterday to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The deputy commissioner of Karachi’s Malir district ordered a lockdown of five days, from July 3-7 in “the large(r) public interest and to prevent/slowdown the spread of deadly coronavirus”.
Phases I and II of UC-06, Gulshan-e-Hadeed will be sealed and all commercial markets, shopping malls and superstores and markets in the main streets of the area will remain closed, a notification said.
Another notification announced that certain areas of Karachi’s South District will undergo a lockdown until July 16.
The areas identified for the lockdown include Clifton, Defence, Lyari, Kharadar and Garden.
Moreover, all commercial areas of Khayaban-e-Rahat in Defence will remain completely closed, whereas, as are business centres in Clifton Block 4 and 5.
The Bath Island area will undergo a complete lockdown.
The areas of Kharadar under lockdown include include Machhi Miani Market and Khori Garden.
Dolly Khata, Shoe Market, Hari Masjid and Jilani Masjid areas in Garden West and Bazarta line in Saddar will also be locked down.
Under the imposition of the complete lockdown, people will not be allowed to leave their house or roam outdoors without a mask, and will not be permitted to leave the house without a legitimate reason.
Only one person in each household will be allowed to buy items for daily use, the notification said.
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