KARACHI - The District Administration Karachi on Wednesday sealed number of markets and shops in the city for violation of Standard Operating Procedures issued by the provinicial government to contain advancement of coronavirus, informed an official of Commissioner Karachi office.

The official said that Zainab Market, Gul Plaza, Victoria Center, International Centre, Madina City Mall, Shoe Plant and Stylo Market were sealed. He said besides these markets two beauty salons were also sealed.

As per details, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shilwani on Wednesday ordered sealing of at least six markets, two beauty saloons and as many shoe stores over what the administration called their failure in following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the provincial government before softening the lockdown imposed after Covid-19 pandemic.

The action was taken against violators in Districts South and East as four markets in Saddar area included Zainab Market, International Centre, Madina City Mall and Victoria Centre, two in Garden locality included Gul Plaza and Al-Haram Centre and Jeelani Centre in Arambagh were amongst the sealed markets, while two beauty saloons and as many shoe stores included Shoe Plant and Stylo have also been sealed by the administration.

Meanwhile, Shilwani said that strict action would be taken against shopkeepers violating the SOPs, asking the traders to fulfill the promise they made during meetings held for reopening of markets. He also summoned the traders’ leaders in his office and sought clarification from them. “Sindh Government allowed the traders to carry out their businesses after their assurance for following the SOPs but now traders were violating the same,” he added while making it clear that “it would not be tolerated.”

The traders in a meeting with the Commissioner assured to follow SOPs set by the government and said that they were taking all-out measures to ensure the shopkeepers taking all preventive measures for safety of the people.

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Shaikh said that the violators were being warned for the last two days but unfortunately the SOPs were not followed. “Action would be taken against traders for violating the SOPs. The people should also play their role to adopt precautionary measures while shopping,” Shaikh added.

It may be noted here that markets across Karachi were seen teeming after the provincial government eased the lockdown and allowed the traders to carry out their business from 8am to 4pm in first four days of the week but there would be complete lockdown from Friday to Sunday.

Many people were seen violating the SOPs at numerous places while shopping and were standing very close to each other by violating social distancing. The use of face masks, sanitizers and other precautionary measures were also neglected in the markets.

Doctors oppose

softening lockdown

Experts and Doctors on the other hand had strictly opposed softening the lockdown and feared that it will open floodgates for the Covid-19.

“It is known to all that in case of increase in number of corona patients, the system will not able to take care to all patients. As at the moment there are few corona dedicated beds available in five public sector hospitals in Karachi,” the officer bearers of Pakistan Medical Association maintained in a presser earlier.

They feared that after the gradual relaxation in lockdown in all over the country, keeping in view unawareness of our people, undisciplined attitude and obstinate behavior, the floodgate of Covid-19 patients would open in the society.

“Lockdown has been relaxed in other countries when the number of cases is on declining trend but in Pakistan the cases are already increasing and any relaxation will rapidly increase them further,” they had told earlier and advised the government to listen the voice of WHO, which time and again calling for the lockdown as an only effective preventive measure against the virus.