A partial lockdown was observed in Karachi on Saturday, a day after the Government of Sindh had ordered restrictions to be imposed across the city until August 8 to curb the surge of Covid-19 cases, mainly due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Police officials were seen erecting barricades and setting up checkpoints in different parts of Karachi. Passenger buses were also intercepted, while the traffic situation across the city was disturbed due to the temporary checkpoints set up by the police in different areas.
In some parts of Karachi, law enforcement officials subjected the violators of the government’s Covid standard operating procedures to the Murgha stress position (used as a summary punishment).
In the old city area, police also broke a Matka (earthenware pot) of a pushcart vendor, following which senior police officials took notice of the incident.
According to reports, arguments broke out between the police and the citizens in different parts of Karachi after the government lifted the ban on pillion riding in the city.
Following the government’s lockdown orders, the police set up checkpoints on various arteries of the city, including Sharea Faisal, Korangi Road, Hassan Square, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, MA Jinnah Road and II Chundrigar Road, as well as on the highways, including the National Highway, the Super Highway and the link road.
The policemen on duty were observed asking the citizens to wear masks and show their vaccination certificates, while several people were asked to go back home because they failed to prove that they were out due to necessity.
Only groceries, bakeries, milk shops and meat shops were allowed to remain open. However, those who were not allowed to open for business were observed selling their goods with the shutters of their shops open halfway.
Passengers in rickshaws, taxis and other vehicles were also let off with warnings. In the old city area, policemen vandalised a lassi shop to force the shopkeeper to close. After the video of the incident was circulated on social media, senior police officials took notice of it. Police, however, claimed that the shopkeeper in question had been repeatedly asked to close the shop, but he did not comply, following which the officials took action against him.
30 die in Sindh
Thirty more people have died due to Covid-19 and 2,772 others have tested positive for the disease during the past 24 hours in Sindh, with the death toll due to the viral coronavirus infection reaching 6,001 in the province.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said in his daily situation report on the health emergency on Saturday that 18,267 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, resulting in 2,772 people, or 15.2 per cent
of those who were screened, being diagnosed with Covid-19.
The provincial government has so far conducted 5,008,192 tests, which have resulted in 382,848 positive cases, which means that eight per cent of those screened have been found to be infected, he added.
Shah said that after the latest deaths, the rate of the diagnosed people who have lost their fight with Covid-19 stands at two per cent in Sindh.
He said that 44,438 people across the province are currently infected: 43,000 are in self-isolation at home, 39 at isolation centres and 1,399 at hospitals, while 1,221 patients are in critical condition, of whom 108 are on life support.
He added that 607 more people have recovered during the past 24 hours, increasing the number of cured patients to 332,409, which shows the recovery rate to be 86.8 per cent.
The CM said that out of the 2,772 fresh cases of Sindh, 2,200 (or 79.4 per cent) have been reported in Karachi Division: 736 of the city’s new patients are from District East, 505 from District Central, 415 from District South, 284 from District Korangi, 203 from District Malir and 57 from District West.
As for the other districts of the province, Hyderabad has reported 122 new cases, Thatta and Badin 68 each, Jamshoro 43, Mirpurkhas 34, Umerkot 30, Naushehroferoze, Tando Allahyar and Sanghar 27 each, Matiari 13, Tando Mohammad Khan 10, Ghotki five, Jacobabad four, Khairpur three, Nawabshah two, and Tharparkar, Shikarpur and Kashmore one each, he added.