Despite government orders, residents gradually began to move out of their homes
Despite government orders, residents gradually began to move out of their homes. PHOTO: EXPRESS
KARACHI: Although Sindh and the federal government announced an extension of the lockdown that was taking place until April 14, residents gradually began to leave their homes to go to work and interact with each other.
On Monday, traffic flow in various city arteries, including Sharae Faisal, Chundrigar II Road, MA Jinnah Street, Tariq Street, Rashid Minhas Street and University Street, swelled more than what had been observed in the past two weeks, despite government requests to stay home to curb the spread of the corona virus.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, an employee at a private office located in the Sindhi Muslim Cooperative Housing Society said that their work time had been extended. He explained that in the first week of locking, they were told to come to the office for only four hours. “Then it was extended to five hours and now we are told to stay in the office until 4 pm,” he said.
Another employee in a private factory in the same place said that although police were seen everywhere, they did not ask anyone why they were out and going around. “I even went to several other offices and it felt as if the lockdown was over,” he added. “The shops are still closed, but just closing the store is not a significant lockout.”
While police pickets are set up across the city, they don’t seem to impede the movement of residents. “I went from Saddar to Safoora Chowrangi, but was not asked why I was outside just once,” said Muhammad Khan, who works in a private company. “Traffic flow is not ordinary. It looks like a normal day, “he mused.
Seema Akhtar, who took his mother to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation, agreed. “I think the law enforcement agencies are exhausted. Or maybe people can’t stay at home for a long time, “he smiled.
Revealing that most of his friends will work in the office, he added that even the rush to the grocery story was higher on Monday. “We can barely see the administration enforce government orders.”
Abdul Karim, who owns a factory in Ibrahim Hyderi, told The Express Tribune that he and his friends had closed their factory. “But some factories are still open with police support,” he said, adding that many small industries had opened on Monday. “The law must be the same for everyone.”
Meanwhile, government spokesman Sindh Murtaza Wahab said that he himself witnessed unusually high traffic flow in the metropolitan city on Monday, even though the lock was still being carried out. “Even the federal government extended the lockdown until April 14,” he told The Express Tribune. “There is no relaxation for anyone.”
He stated that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had issued a directive to the provincial police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, asking him to strictly implement the locking order.
Interestingly, while the problem seems to have subsided in many parts of the city, others see tighter closure enforcement on Monday.
In Lyari, several main roads are blocked for movement, with law enforcement officials restricting traffic by using rubbish bins on Jalan Shah Abdul Latif.
Local residents complained that law enforcement officials even forced shop owners to close grocery stores and milk shops before 5 pm.
“Their attitude changed on Monday,” insisted Ayaz Ghani, a resident of the Bihar Colony. “Before Sunday, we are free to move from one place to another.”
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