KARACHI                 -               Transport Minister Sindh Syed Awais Qadir Shah on Wednesday de­manded of Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed to close down train services from the Sindh province amid fears of coronavirus spread.

“Likewise the Sindh province has announced a ban on inter-city buses, the federal government should also ban travelling via train,” he said, adding that it was complicating the efforts to tackle the virus as many people from other provinces are ar­riving in the province unchecked.

Shah said that the Railways au­thorities had no resources to deal with the situation as even their em­ployees were not provided masks to avoid coming in contact with the virus.

“Thousands of people travel in the trains on daily basis and it can become a cause of virus spread on large scale across the country due to lack of screening facilities at the sta­tions,” he said.

The minister, however, refuted re­ports of shutting down online bus services within Karachi and said that they have yet to make a decision regarding its closure.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s tally of the virus has reached upto 247 cases with Sindh province witnessing most cases-181.

The provincial government on Tuesday ordered closure of restau­rants and shopping malls across the province for 15 days in an effort to curb the spread of the infection.

All restaurants, malls, shopping centers, and parks will remain closed for 15 days from tomor­row, a spokesperson for the gov­ernment said.

The government has directed K-Electric to ensure uninterrupted power supply during what can be dubbed a partial lockdown in the port city. vHowever, the spokesman said, all grocery and medical stores can remain open round the clock. Takeaways and deliveries will be allowed. Vegetable, fruit, fish and chicken markets will also remain open across the province.

Announcing a string of new mea­sures to combat the disease, CM Murad Ali Shah said there is a seri­ous need to prevent the coronavirus spreading, expressing fears that if the COVID-19 spreads, the prov­ince’s health infrastructure won’t be able to cope with the influx of pa­tients