KARACHI: Police on Wednesday sealed the city’s main markets – including the Zainab Market – for the failure of shopkeepers to comply with safety protocols to guard against the spread of the corona virus.
After the government announced ease of restrictions starting May 9, all major retail outlets and markets rushed to open stores on Monday. The last two days have witnessed the rush of shoppers who are cautious of the wind and rushed to get many items quickly sought by Eid. Both shopkeepers and customers were seen taking the necessary precautions such as wearing masks and often using sanitizers. Today, in view of these violations, the city police sealed all the main markets, deeply regretted by shop owners who had been waiting to sell their goods after a two-month pause.
An attack by the district administration authority was carried out in the Saddar area, after the Zainab Market and Madina City Mall were closed.
Besides Zainab Market, Victoria Market, International Market, Gul Plaza and Arham Shopping Center were also closed.
According to Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool, shop owners do not wear masks, gloves or wear sanitizers.
Traders strongly protested the closure of shops and raised slogans against the district government.
The video that went viral on social media clearly shows that no social distance protocol is practiced, even during protests.
Following the market closure, All Karachi Chairmen Tajir Ittehad Atiq Mir in a conversation with Geo News, said traders were responsible for following the SOP set by the government.
“We have promised the authorities that the guidelines will be applied but that is not the case. They are to blame themselves. “
Meanwhile, the Sindh government has introduced a regulation where those found to be in violation of standard operating procedures (SOP) and other coronavirus locking restrictions will be slapped with a fine of Rs1 million.
The COVID-19, 2020 Emergency Assistance Act came into force after Sindh Governor Imran Ismail – who had previously rejected the proposal – ratified it.
According to regulations, which were approved by the provincial cabinet on April 27, violations of any actions mentioned in the regulations will result in fines.
Before this, the fine for violating the Infectious Disease Act was Rs 3,000.
Failure to stem the spread of a pandemic will also be handled under the same regulations, he said.
The text of the regulation states that the officer concerned will be asked to state the reasons for the fines, while there will be separate fines for repeated violations.
Meanwhile, following continuous violations of SOPs and preventive measures by traders, the Punjab government is considering closing various markets in Lahore.
According to sources, a high-level meeting was held under the leadership of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar. The meeting expressed serious concern over the situation in the market.
Sources said that SOPs were violated in the market and proposals to immediately close several markets were being considered.
According to sources, the government is considering closing Hall Road, Shah Alam Market, Anarkali Market and Azam in Lahore, while there are no security measures at Ichhra Bazaar, Township Bazaar and other places.
Sources knowing government secrets say that shops will be challenged in the first phase and then shops will be sealed because SOPs don’t seem to be implemented.
On Tuesday, the Punjab government threatened to reinstate locking if businesses continued to ignore SOPs issued by the government as part of easing restrictions imposed to restrain the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at LCCI, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Mian Province Aslam Iqbal said that the actions of the traders were unpleasant and influenced the government’s efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak.
The minister said if traders continued to ignore the agreed SOPs before reducing the lock, the Punjab government would not think twice about forcing the lock back. But this time, the locking will be tighter than before.
Mian Aslam Iqbal said, Lahore has become the center of a coronavirus in Punjab and cases that are transmitted locally from the virus are increasing the number of countries, adding that traders must show a sense of responsibility to avoid being locked out.
He said people’s lives were at stake for several rupees. “I am tired of encouraging traders, but they have crossed all limits,” he said and added the attitude of those responsible beyond comprehension.
The provincial minister appealed that children should not be allowed in the market while guards should be placed in shops and markets, adding that all shop owners must arrange hand sanitizers.
Mushtaq Paracha added from Nowshera: The Pakistani Tobacco Company and its labor colonies in Akora Khattak were confined on Wednesday after 44 workers reported positive for coronavirus.
Media briefing, Deputy Commissioner Shahid Ali Khan said that he had directed the company to conduct tests on 800 workers and staff members for coronavirus.
The official said that 44 out of 200 employees tested positive and negative for viral infections while the results of 600 workers were still awaited.
He added that 44 infected employees were quarantined at the Government College of Technology in the Khandar region.
Meanwhile, Punjab issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for barber shops, salons and hair and beauty salons as well as gymnasiums and health clubs that must be followed amid a coronavirus pandemic.
Provincial authorities have allowed them to resume operations after restrictions on locking were loosened starting Monday.
The National Coordinating Committee (NCC) has decided last week to start a gradual revocation because of its effect on the economy and the poor workforce.
After the NCC decision, all provincial governments allow small markets to open with certain guidelines.
The Punjab government today issued three different notices to barbers, hair salons and fitness centers that provide detailed guidance. Service providers are bound to ensure the availability of hand sanitizers, soaps, masks and gloves for all customers and workers.
Meanwhile, Pakistan reported 2,255 cases of corona virus during the past 24 hours, because the spread of infection through local transmission showed a dangerous upward trajectory in a recent report published by the Pakistan World Health Organization chapter.
The report presents a grim picture of cases of local transmission in Pakistan, province by province, every week.
The report shows that Balochistan has the highest rate of local transmission at 93 percent, and only 7 percent is a case of imports.
In the second number is Sindh, where 92 percent are local transmissions and 8 percent are import cases.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 84 percent are examples of locally transmitted viruses while 16 percent of cases are foreign.
In the worst-hit Punjab, 15 percent are foreign cases while 85 percent of reported cases occur via local transmission.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, 37 percent are imported cases while 63 percent are local transmissions. Meanwhile, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 17 percent are foreign cases while 83 percent are continued locally.
Pakistan’s testing capacity has faced a downward trajectory after peaking at an estimated 13,000 on May 9, according to the report.
On May 10 and 11, the number of tests dropped, fluctuating between 11,000 and 10,000.
The report said that Pakistan had 1,140 new cases of the corona virus on May 11, 2020, which showed a reduction in the number of 1,991 cases reported on May 9 – around 42.71 percent.
The number of cases reported since the beginning of the outbreak was 35,303 with 706 deaths (according to the time of filing the report). According to details, 6,661 confirmed cases of hospitalization, with 281 reported in critical condition.
The report estimates that 16,159 were positive cases both at home and in isolation facilities.
He also said that 26.66 percent of the total cases, totaling 8,555, had been exhausted after recovery.
On May 13, Pakistan reported more than 34,000 cases of the virus with more than 700 deaths.
Meanwhile, the death rate from coronavirus has reached 275 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa when eight more people died from fatal illnesses on Wednesday.
Also, the number of infected people continues to increase because 231 more people are diagnosed with COVID-19, increasing the number of positive cases to 5,252 in the province.
Sources at three tertiary care hospitals in Peshawar told The News that they were watching an increasing number of patients on Wednesday.
Of the eight deaths, four occurred in Peshawar, two in Nowshera and one each in the Lower Dir and Khyber districts.
Peshawar continued to suffer from coronavirus because of the 231 positive cases reported from KP, 112 came from Peshawar alone. So far, 164 people have lost to Covid-19.
Two other districts in the Peshawar Division, Nowshera and Khyber also reported the highest number of positive cases in the province.
Nowshera recorded 19 cases while 15 positive cases were reported from Khyber.
This virus appears to have spread to almost every corner of the province because most districts report positive cases.
Abbottabad reported 18 cases while Mansehra and Haripur recorded 10 positive cases of each coronavirus.
Other districts including Bajaur reported eight positive cases, Dera Ismail Khan five, Dir Atas four, Buner three, Swat one, Swabi four and Mardan three.
In the KP, the majority of positive cases, 2399, were reported from the Peshawar Division, followed by the Malakand Division with 1259 cases.
In the Peshawar Division, 180 people have died from communicable diseases to date, 44 in the Malakand Division, 15 in the Hazara Division, 25 in the Mardan Division, 7 in the Kohat Division, and one person in the DI Khan Division.
As of today May 13, 2020, the case fatality rate (CFR) at KP is 5.23 compared to 5.31 yesterday (the most in the country) (confirmed cases: 5252 ie 231 new confirmed cases, deaths: 275 ie 08 new deaths which is still the most domestic.
The CFR in Peshawar was 7.85 compared to 8.10 on Thursday (the most in any city in Pakistan) (confirmed cases: 2087 ie 112 new confirmed cases, deaths: 164 which were 04 of the most recent deaths in this province.
Mortality Cases Cases have decreased in KP and Peshawar compared to yesterday, 8 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours at KP and 4 of them came from Peshawar which means Peshawar contributed 50 percent of deaths that occurred in the province during the last 24 hours.