NCOC announces to lift COVID-19 lockdown in Sindh

Karachi and Hyderabad will face new restrictions on movement from August 09.

KARACHI: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has announced to lift the ‘partial’ lockdown, imposed in Sindh to contain the fourth wave of the novel coronavirus, from August 9 while continuing with other restrictions on movement.

According to a statement issued by the coronavirus monitoring body today (Saturday), Karachi and Hyderabad will face new restrictions on movement from August 09. The Sindh governtment announced to impose lockdown from July 31 until August 8 citing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

During the meeting today, the NCOC said implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be improved at the beginning of Muharram besides also emphasizing the need to adopt a smart lockdown strategy.

“Smart lockdown should be imposed in areas witnessing higher COVID-19 positivity ratio,” the health body said while also lauding the Sindh government’s measures that helped improve the vaccination process.

Earlier in the day, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah hosted a NCOC session in Karachi. Federal Minister Asad Umar, Lt Gen Hamood-uz-Zaman, Special Assistant to PM Khalid Mansoor and other officials attended the meeting.

On the occasion, CM Sindh said the number of active COVID-19 cases were on a downward trend in the province, particularly in the provincial capital of Karachi where the positivity ratio has decreased to 21 percent.

He said the port city had a positivity ratio of 24 percent, but it has now decreased by 3 percent. Murad informed the NCOC that Sindh has entered week six of the fourth wave, which now seems to be subsiding gradually.

He added that 67 percent of the infections in the provincial capital could be attributed to travellers returning from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Peshawar, and Islamabad and said the provincial capital has been hit particularly hard by the Delta variant.

“At least 1,210 patients are in critical condition in the city and the fatality rate has witnessed an increase in Karachi”, said Murad. Speaking about the availability of hospital beds, Murad said at present, there were a total of 1,120 oxygen beds, including 537 beds provided by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

“The Sindh government installed 583 more oxygen beds in hospitals from its own resources”, he added. According to the CM, 100 beds are available at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, 75 beds at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, 100 beds at Eidgah Maternity, 150 beds at Expo, and 158 beds at specialised hospitals for Covid.

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