KARACHI                  -            In yet another desperate attempt to stem the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, the Sindh government on Wednesday announced to impose a full-fledged lockdown in the province on Friday from 12 noon to 3pm.

According to sources, the provincial government has decided to impose complete lockdown on Friday from 12 noon to 3pm, while the decision has also been taken to limit large gatherings during Friday prayers.

The spokesperson emphasised that anyone violating the government-imposed lockdown would face legal action.

The Pakistan Peoples’ Party-led (PPP) provincial government, in consultation with Ulemas, decided to impose a complete lockdown in a bid to limit people from gathering in mosques in large numbers.

All shops and business centres will also remain closed during the lockdown. The government has also decided to take strict action against those violating the law.

Shah had told them that despite a unanimous decision following consultations with doctors and religious scholars to limit Friday prayers to five people at a time, “some people violated this code of conduct, [and] as a result, the law took its own course”.

The CM had requested them again “to keep their Juma congregation limited to five people as had been agreed earlier”, assuring them that sureties of those who had already obtained bails from different courts would be returned.

The Sindh government had earlier decided that only the mosque’s imam, muazzin, khadim, and two others would congregate for Friday prayers owing to the threat of coronavirus.

Meanwhile,Another 33 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Karachi on Wednesday that took the Sindh tally to 709.

All of these cases were locally transmitted, Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho said in a statement. So far, 55 patients had recovered from the virus in Sindh, she said.

Currently, there are 307 coronavirus patients under treatment in Karachi, according to the health minister.

Health officials have conducted 6,948 tests in the province. Sindh has reported eight deaths from the virus.

Pechuho said the health department was providing all-possible facilities to patients at isolation and quarantine centres in the province.

Coronavirus claims another life in Karachi

Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Pechuho Wednesday confirmed one more coronavirus death in Sindh province, taking the total number of deaths from the viral disease in the province to nine. Pechuho said a 59-year-old patient, a resident of Karachi, was brought to the hospital on 19th March after his return from Saudi Arabia, where he was tested positive for the coronavirus the same day. She informed that the patient had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and was on ventilator since then.

This brings the total number of deaths from coronavirus in Sindh to nine and all deaths were reported in Karachi city.

Saddar tops as 230 coronavirus cases reported in Karachi

Overall 230 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Karachi with most cases reported from Saddar locality of the city.

According to area wise count of the cases, 64 virus cases have been reported from Saddar, followed by 58 from Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of the city. Nazimabad locality reported 35 confirmed cases other than 17 cases from Gulberg, 15 from Jamshed Town and 10 from Malir area. Site Area, Gadap, Korangi and Landhi areas have reported two virus cases each.

The department’s data shows that men were mostly affected from the virus as they comprise 64.18 percent patients affected from it while the remaining 35.82 percent were women patients.

Giving a district wise breakdown of the cases, the report showed that the district East topped in the cases with reporting 14 percent cases followed by 13 and 11 percent cases respectively in district Central and South.

District West and Malir reported two percent cases each respectively while the Korangi district reported one percent cases.

According to the health department, no case was reported from the city during the last 12 hours.

“People willing to undergo tests should contact helpline of DC South for taking an appointment, from where they will be provided with timings for the test and a code,” he said while divulging the procedure.