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Pakistan’s COVID-19 crisis is only getting worse; Fawad Chaudhry criticizes Sindh’s lockdown decision

While Pakistan’s COVID-19 crisis is only getting worse; Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry criticizes the government of Sindh’s decision to impose lockdown.

The country is nearing in on 5,000 daily cases and Sindh remains the worst affected region from the fourth wave of COVID-19 due to the presence of Delta variant, unfortunately, leaders don’t shy to make it a political matter.

Fawad Chaudhry stresses that the option of imposing a complete lockdown was “not available to any provincial government”.

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity rate has risen to 8.4%, marking the first time the national positivity rate crossed 8% in over two months.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 4,950 new infection cases over the last 24 hours. Including over 2,000 cases only in Sindh.

As per NCOC, 58,479 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the country.

The nationwide death toll from coronavirus now stands at 23,360 after 65 people lost their lives to the virus, while the number of recovered patients across the country now stands at 940,164.

The active number of cases in the country has surged to 66,287, as per NCOC’s stats.

Region-wise breakdown of reported coronavirus positive cases and deaths is as follows:

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  • Sindh: 2,862
  • Punjab: 728 cases and 22 deaths
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 460 cases and 12 deaths
  • Balochistan: 127 cases and 1 fatality
  • Islamabad: 359 cases, 2 deaths
  • GB: 88 cases, 4 deaths
  • AJK: 326 cases

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the Sindh government has announced a nine-day lockdown which goes into effect from today.

According to the restrictions under the lockdown: 

  • Government offices will be closed
  • Those who do not get vaccinated will not get their salary after August 31,
  • Vaccination cards of anyone roaming the streets will be checked,
  • The export industry will remain open
  • All markets will remain closed. However, pharmacies and groceries (till 6 pm) will remain open.
  • Restaurants will only be allowed to deliver food. No takeaway allowed.
  • Exams cancelled during lockdown period
  • Inter-city transport will be closed

As soon as the provincial government announced the lockdown, federal minister Fawad Chaudhry came forwarded criticizing the move.

On Friday, Fawad Chaudhry in a statement said that the Sindh government would not be allowed to impose a complete lockdown in the province as the federal government’s policy on controlling the spread of Covid-19 was crystal clear.

The Supreme Court had ruled that the provinces could not take unilateral decisions in this regard, the minister added while commenting on the Sindh government’s announcement about the imposition of a lockdown in the province.

 Mr. Chaudhry added that “under Article 151 of the Constitution, Pakistan is a single market with the port of Karachi acting as the jugular vein of its economy. Any move that could affect the country’s economic lifeline could not be allowed.”

It is pertinent to mention here that in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan and the country’s economic hub, the positivity rate of coronavirus surged to 26.32 % ‘the worst till date on July 27.

Saman Siddiqui

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