KARACHI                   -                Admitting the decision to announce a lockdown in the province was a difficult decision, Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing & Town Planning Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said on Sunday the decision was taken after reviewing the complete situation, arising out of the spread of coronavirus.

In his statement issued here, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that 80 people in Sindh had contracted the Covid-19 locally. The minister asked people not to call it (the lockdown) a curfew, but instead they should call it a “Care for You”.

The provincial minister for information said that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was of the opinion that the government should adopt every possible measure that could be beneficial for the health and security of people.

He said that after the lockdown, no one would be allowed to leave his or her home unless facing an unavoidable situation. “Only the patients will be allowed to visit the hospitals and that too with only one person and with the permission of the security officials, Nasir elaborated. The minister further said that the availability of basic utilities, including water, electricity and gas, would be ensured.

Provincial minister for information, while briefing further about the decisions taken at today’s meeting, said that all the people had been exempted from paying their electricity and gas bills, if these were not more than Rs4,000 and Rs2,000, respectively.

He said that the supply of electricity to those who could not pay their current bills would not be disconnected.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that action would be taken against the hoarders and those selling the essential items at higher prices.

The provincial minister said that all the educational institutions, shopping malls, public parks and government offices had already been closed in the province.  He appealed to the people to follow whatever decisions being taken by the Sindh government as all these decisions were taken in their interest.

Nasir, however, clarified that restaurants would be allowed to offer home delivery service while shops and stalls of grocery, milk, fish, chicken, meat and vegetable would remain open as usual.

The minister said, “We won’t be uncertain in doing what we must do to control the spread of the virus. We are putting health of the people first.”

Quoting the CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, he said that he understood that people might find the actions taken by the government inconvenient as it would be difficult for them to perform their daily routine. “But this was necessary to control the spread of Covid-19 that might cost people of this province their lives.