The Sindh government has decided to close schools, impose a ban on indoor dining again and place several other restrictions across the province as COVID-19 cases continue to increase amid fears of a fourth wave.
The steps were taken on Wednesday during a meeting of the Provincial Coronavirus Taskforce headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Schools are to close from Friday for students of all classes, except for the examinations of students enrolled in grades 9 and above. Once examinations are over, schools will also close for those students also.
During the meeting, the chief minister expressed concern over the worsening situation of COVID-19 in Sindh, where the positivity ratio has increased sharply during the past few days.
It was also decided to impose a ban on indoor restaurants, amusement parks, water parks, tourist spots, cinemas, gyms and indoor games from Friday.
The development comes amid a warning from health authorities of a fourth wave due to the non-implementation of safety protocols.
Before the Sindh taskforce meeting, CM Adviser Murtaza Wahab said, “the number of cases has sharply increased because people have failed to follow SOPs which may compel the Govt to take stricter decisions regarding the closure.”
The participants were informed that the provincial positivity has reached 7.4 percent. To this, CM Shah said a rate over 5 percent is a matter of concern for the government.
About Karachi, the meeting was told that the situation is alarming where the positivity was recorded at 17.11 on July 13.
It is pertinent to mention that Sindh had lifted the restrictions in phases during the past couple of months after new cases dropped.
On Tuesday, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) announced that the Pakistan Army will be called in once again to implement the government’s mandated coronavirus SOPs.