KARACHI - Following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, the Sindh Health Department has written to the Karachi police chief and deputy commissioners (DCs), asking them to ensure strict implementation of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) devised to contain the pandemic and impose a ‘micro smart lockdown’ in affected areas to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The health department also suggested deploying additional police officials to enforce this lockdown, adding that district health officers should be consulted in this regard.

Meanwhile, Karachi Commissioner Sohail Rajput ordered officials to take action against restaurants and wedding halls violating SOPs.

Rajput chaired a meeting with DCs, district health officers and other relevant officials on Wednesday, where it was decided that eateries and wedding halls flouting the prevention measures against coronavirus would be closed for at least three days.

The commissioner directed the DCs to inspect restaurants and wedding halls in their jurisdictions and initiate action against the offenders immediately.

The metropolis saw the emergence of 4,667 Covid-19 cases in September, while 365 people were diagnosed with the contagious disease the previous day, Rajput was informed during the meeting. Moreover, he was apprised that 60 percent of Pakistan’s cases were reported in Karachi alone.

The meeting further decided to increase testing capacity for schools and to seal any educational institutions violating the SOPs as well. Further, the commissioner asked the officials to ensure the implementation of SOPs in parks, restricting people from entering without wearing face masks.

Rajput also directed the DCs to take action against industrial units failing to adhere to the SOPs, ordering them to take action on the basis of the Sindh Industries Department’s reports.