The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a deadlier one for Pakistan. A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) learnt on Monday that hospitalisations due to Covid-19 have doubled in the last two weeks. A total of 2,756 cases were confirmed on November 22, with the positivity ratio rising to 7.46 per cent. Going by the figures, the Sindh government has now introduced revised restrictions in order to contain the spread of the virus. These including the compulsory wearing of masks, ban on indoor weddings, a set quota on outdoor events and a work-from-home policy among other things.
The provincial authorities said in a notification issued late Monday that fresh measures have been taken in line with the National Command and Control (NCOC) meeting which formulated a countrywide policy to curb the Covid-19 spread in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. According to the notification, wearing of face masks at government and private offices and public places has been made mandatory and a fine will also be imposed in case of violation. No indoor marriage ceremonies are allowed to take place while outdoor events can be held with an upper limit of 200 guests.
Furthermore, buffet services are not permitted, and food can only be served in lunch boxes. The government has also imposed a policy of work-from-home for 50% of the staff in public and private offices. Indoor gathering places including gyms, sports facilities, cinemas, shrines and others have also been ordered to shut down. All business except essential services will remain closed on Friday and Sunday while business timings have been reduced from 6am till 6pm, with weekends off. Indoor dinning service at restaurants has also been banned and only delivery, takeaway and outdoor dining is allowed till 10pm. “The order shall come into force immediately and effective till 31st January, 2021,” concluded the notification.