The Chief Minister of Sindh Province said that the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases led to the flooding of hospitals in Karachi, the provincial capital.
Due to the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases, the provincial authorities imposed a partial lockdown on the Sindh province in southern Pakistan, including the commercial center of Karachi and other urban centers.
Despite opposition from the federal government and the local business community, the blockade began on Saturday and will continue until August 8.
On Friday, the Chief Minister of Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, said that the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases has flooded the hospitals in Karachi, the provincial capital.
The new surge seems to be related to the many crowd-drawing activities during the Muslim Eid al-Adha earlier this month.
Shah said at a press conference: “I know people will not be satisfied with the blockade, but we inevitably have to lower the number.”
The Sindh provincial government will close all markets, but pharmacies, bakeries, gas stations and grocery stores must still be closed by 6 pm (13:00 GMT).
All traffic between cities has ceased, and public buses have also ceased operation. Private cars and taxis are limited to two people.
The restaurant will only allow delivery. A handout from the Office of the Chief Minister stated that no takeout, dine-in or outdoor dining is allowed.
It said that health facilities including vaccination centers will remain open, adding that the provincial government office will be closed this week.
A day ago, the Federal Government of Pakistan announced a ban on entering public offices, schools, restaurants, public transportation, shopping centers and airplanes without a COVID vaccination certificate.
In the past 24 hours, Pakistan has reported 86 deaths, of which 14 were in Karachi, as the positive rate of coronavirus in the capital of Sindh province reached approximately 25%.
Shah added that Karachi had 20% of cases in the past few weeks, but after Eid al-Fitr, the virus also spread to rural areas.
According to data from the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), the military agency responsible for overseeing the epidemic response, more than 27.8 million of the 220 million people have been vaccinated once, but only 5.9 million have been fully vaccinated.