Sindh government wants to extend lockdown by one week after April 14: Shah

The Sindh government wants to extend the lockdown across the province by one week after April 14, said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday, as calls for the provincial government to resume economic activities increase.
The chief minister was speaking to senior journalists where he said that the Sindh government wanted all provinces in the country to take unified steps regarding the lockdown.
A lockdown has been imposed in the province since last month as local transmission of the novel coronavirus has increased in Sindh. As of today, Sindh has reported 1,128 confirmed cases of the infection with 21 deaths.
“The Sindh cabinet will take the final decision about the lockdown,” he was quoted as saying. “We are preparing SOPs for everything including industries and factories,” he added.
The chief minister said that closures across the province will not be lifted at once but through a systematic process. “If factories are opened, minimum number of employees will work in them,” he said.
Murad said that shopping malls will remain closed. He said that the business community was exerting pressure on the government to resume economic activity while small traders have supported the lockdown measures.
Saying that allowing the construction sector to keep operating will can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, Murad urged the federal government to extend the lockdown for an additional week.
“If the federal government extends the lockdown for an additional week, the situation can be brought under control,” he said.
The chief minister expressed concerns that the virus can spread through the distribution of rations as thousands were assembling at places to receive them.
“We have reservations with the federal government over several issues,” he said.
Earlier today, the PTI had asked the provincial government to consider easing lockdown restrictions and announce a post-April 14 strategy.
“It will provide relief to most people, particularly the needy while exposing a minimum number to the coronavirus threat,” PTI leader Firdous Naqvi had said.
He had suggested that market hours be increased to cope with the expected rush of buyers in local bazaars. Naqvi said on one day, garment shops should be allowed to open, and on the other days, the rest of the shops should be allowed to operate.
“People who are dying from hunger will be compelled to take to the streets and the government will not be in a position to control it,” he had said.
Haleem Adil Sheikh, the PTI parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly, remarked that his party had suggested a proper strategy to deal with the pandemic, but the Sindh government did not listen to their advice.
He said the provincial government had abruptly closed down schools and halls. “Now this government is not even able to distribute rations. Where did the promised two million bags of rations go?” he asked.

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