Karachi to Begin a ‘Micro-Smart’ Lockdown

The Sindh government is now worried due to the surge in coronavirus cases in the country. Just yesterday, 22 new cases were detected in a single union council in the West District. The numbers are troubling, given that the population of the region is only 4,000. Thus, the provincial government has decided that they will impose ‘micro-smart’ lockdowns in some of the hotspots in the city. 

These measures were taken shortly after the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) stated that they were concerned about the rising cases of the virus in the country. Karachi, specifically, is seeing the greatest increase in the number of people infected by the disease. On Tuesday, nearly half of the cases registered were from the City of Lights alone. 

Giving details, the NCOC informed the media and the public that the country had recorded a total of 747 cases on Tuesday. The cause for alarm came when it was found that 365 of these cases were diagnosed in Karachi. 

On Wednesday, a total of 311 cases were reported from Sindh, 221 of which were from the City of Lights. These numbers were announced by the chief minister of Sindh himself. 

While in a meeting with the NCOC, Dr. Faisal Sultan, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, admitted that some strategies needed to be devised if the country wanted to curb the spread of the virus. He stressed on implementing smart lockdowns, strictly adhering to SOPs, and contact tracing. 

Zahid Abbasi, the health secretary for Sindh also told the NCOC that the administration of Karachi was keeping an eye on the situation. He said that after thoroughly consulting with all the stakeholders, appropriate administrative action will be taken without hesitation. 

The recently introduced micro-smart lockdown was implemented in Gadap Town and Manghopir. This took place on Wednesday evening as per the instructions of the District Health Officer (DHO). The emergence of new cases led to this are being one of the first to be on lockdown. 

The West deputy commissioner (DC) also made sure to issue a notification, highlighting the importance of adhering to relevant standard operating procedures, especially in the affected areas. 

As per the notification issued, no unnecessary persons would be allowed to enter the restricted area. Residents of the area are required to be wearing face masks at all times when leaving their homes. Moreover, pillion riding and public transport has been banned indefinitely. People are also being discouraged from public gatherings. Meanwhile, commercial and trading activities have also been suspended. The only businesses allowed to operate are pharmacies and grocery stores. Even then, households are being urged to only allow one person to leave to buy essential items. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Karachi Police Chief and the DCs were contacted by the Sindh Health Department. They were instructed to make sure that SOPs were strictly being implemented and the imposition of micro-smart lockdowns remained successful. 

They also advised the law enforcement agency to deploy additional police officials if need be, to ensure that this lockdown is implemented to the full.