TM KHAN/MIRPURKHAS          -                 There was a complete lockdown across Tando Mohammad Khan, Thatta and Sujawal districts on Monday.

All main roads wore a deserted look while shopping centers, tea stalls remained closed in response to government directives to observe social distancing.

Few grocery shops that were open witnessed a huge rush of people who complained to this scribe that following the announcement of a lockdown in Sindh, shopkeepers were charging them excessive prices for all food items.

They criticized the district administration for its failure to rein in the hoarders and profiteers and said that many poor people had to return to their homes empty handed because of higher rates of essential commodities.

They demanded the chief minister take notice of the situation, and order crackdown on profiteers and hoarders.

Meanwhile, SSP Abid Ali Baloch has urged the people to extend cooperation to district police and the district administration by staying at their homes.

 Strict security arrangements were witnessed in Mirpurkhas and other cities and towns of the district on Monday, the first day of the 14-day lockdown, as law enforcement agencies (LEAs) personnel patrolled streets and main roads to ensure people remained indoors.

Police also arrested several persons at different places over violation of the government directives, but released them after few hours, with a warning for the future.

All kinds of transport remained off the roads while all shops barring general stores, fish and meat shops, medical stores and petrol pumps remained closed.

Rangers’ personnel also gave physical punishment to several youth in different parts of the city for coming out of their homes.

Philanthropists namely Mehmood Sabri of Dastagiri Welfare Association, Rotary Club, Paradise City, Meo Ittehad and others distributed foods and ration among the deserving people.

When police forced the closure of some of the shops in some parts of the city in the morning, the shopkeepers protested against the police’s action.

However, contrary to that gambling dens remained open in Hameed Pura Colony and Christian Colony in the limits of Mehran police station, but police did not take any action against the gamblers.

DC for taking precautionary measures against Covid-19

Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner (DC) Mirpurkhas Abdul Waheed Shaikh has said that precautionary steps are must if one wants to save himself, his family members and the society from the coronavirus.

While visiting various parts the city on Monday such as Municipal Market, Sabzi Mandi, Civil Hospital Chowk, Railway Station Chowk, Police Shuhada Chowk, Mir Colony Chowk, Soomra Mohallah, Chandni Chowk, Choona Factory Morr, Ring Road, Gharibabad, Umerkot road and others to review the effectiveness of the lockdown, he urged all and sundry to comply with the government directives to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

He directed the shopkeepers and others to wear masks.

He appealed to the people to avoid coming out of their homes unnecessarily.

DIG Mirpurkhas Zulfiqar Larak, on the occasion, directed the police personnel to stop the people from coming out of their houses without any need.

Later on, the DC also visited the isolation ward set up at an under construction district headquarter hospital.

Assistant Commissioner Mirpurkhas Ghulam Hussain Kanio, Assistant Commissioner taluka Hussain Bux Marri Muhammad Khan Khatti, Superintendent Engineer Hesco Iqbal Baloch and other concerned officers were also present on the occasion.