KARACHI: The provincial government on Wednesday night imposed a ‘mini smart lockdown’ in a city neighbourhood following an abrupt increase in the Covid-19 cases as 60 per cent of positive cases across the country were reported overnight from the provincial capital.

Two localities in Manghopir, district West, were placed under a two-week ‘mini smart lockdown’. The deputy commissioner, West, issued a notification placing Saima Villas and Samama City under the lockdown from October 1 to 15.

All business activities, except for groceries and pharmacies, will remain closed and all public transport including taxis and rickshaws will not be allowed to move in the two localities of the UC 8, having a population of over 4,000, during the lockdown.

The order said that only one person of a family would be allowed outside for buying food items and medicine by displaying original computerised national identity card to the law enforcement agencies.

Officials say 60pc of total cases in country overnight are from Karachi

Earlier, the city administration had decided to identify the localities and neighbourhoods with increased number of Covid-19 cases and imposed a smart lockdown there.

Strict action against SOP violators ordered

It was also decided to take strict and immediate action against violators of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) notified to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Official sources told Dawn that Karachi Commissioner Sohail Rajput while presiding over a meeting with city administration and provincial health department directed the deputy commissioners to immediately seal the schools, restaurants and marriage halls that were found not following the SOPs.

The meeting noted that almost 60pc of the total cases across the country reported overnight were from Karachi, while 4,667 positive cases were reported in the city in September alone.

The deputy commissioners were directed to keep a vigilant eye on the schools, restaurants, marriage halls and public parks to ensure observance of SOPs by public.

The meeting also decided to increase Covid-19 tests at schools.

It also decided that the industry department would keep a strict check on offices, industrial units and factories and the deputy commissioners concerned would take action against violators on the report of the industries department.

The deputy commissioners were also directed to submit to the commissioner office their respective reports on a daily basis.

Two die overnight

Meanwhile, in a statement issued in the morning the chief minister said that 311 new cases of coronavirus emerged when 10,940 tests were conducted raising the tally to 137,109 and two more patients died lifting the death toll to 2,499.

He said that 10,940 samples were tested against which 311 new cases detected and this constituted 2.8pc current detection rate.

“Two more patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 2,499 that came to 1.8 per cent death rate,” he said and added that so far 1,363,079 samples had been tested which diagnosed 137,106 cases all over Sindh forming overall 10pc detection rate.

The CM said that currently 4,255 patients were under treatment, of them 3,978 in home isolation, six at isolation centres and 271 at different hospitals. He added that the condition of 181 patients was stated to be critical, including 38 shifted on ventilators.

Mr Shah said that 215 patients recovered overnight taking the number of patients recovered so far to 130,352 that constituted 95pc.

He said that out of 311 new cases of coronavirus, 221 were detected in Karachi, including 75 in South, 53 in East, 40 in Central, 27 in Korangi, 17 in Malir and nine in West.

The CM said that Hyderabad had 14 cases, Jamshoro six, Badin and Dadu four each, Sujawal three, Ghotki two, Khairpur, Mirpurkhas, Naushahro Feroze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Thatta one each.

He urged the people of the province to follow SOP and keep themselves, their friends and families safe.

Published in Dawn, October 1st , 2020