‘Karachi’s coronavirus-sensitive areas to be put under lockdown from Thursday’

KARACHI: Coronavirus hotspots in Pakistan’s financial capital were to be locked down starting Thursday, the city’s commissioner said late Wednesday.

In an update, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Ali Shallwani said a decision has been made to lock down the metropolis’ sensitive areas by 7pm on Thursday. The move comes in light of a report from the deputy commissioner Karachi that determined the coronavirus hotspots.

Shallwani would soon issue a notification with details of the areas to be locked down to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Any movement in the restricted hotspot areas would be banned during the lockdown, the update mentioned.

A day prior, the deputy commissioners of three of Karachi’s districts had identified the hotspots.

All 43 union councils in the West, East, and Korangi districts were recommended to be locked down.

More than 157,000 infections and 3,000 deaths have been reported due to the coronavirus all over Pakistan, with close to 60,000 cases in both Sindh and Punjab.

Earlier this week, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had issued a list of 20 cities identified as coronavirus hotspots across Pakistan and, a day later, certain areas of the major cities were under a “smart lockdown”.

“A total of 20 cities across Pakistan have been identified as having likely increase in ratio/speed of infection which needs restrictive measures for containment,” a statement by the NCOC issued Monday read.

In Sindh’s Ghotki, four areas have been sealed and section 188 imposed after it was identified as one of the areas.

The other cities identified by the NCOC were Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Swat, Hyderabad, Sukkar, Sialkot, Gujarat, Ghotki, Larkana, Khairpur, DG Khan, Malakand, and Mardan.

The NCOC noted that the test, trace and quarantine (TTQ) strategy was aimed at identifying disease spread, focused clusters/hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns and need-driven resource optimisation at all levels.

A few day ago, National Information Technology Board (NITB) Chief Executive Shabahat Ali Shah had shared a geographical snapshot of the city’s coronavirus hotspots.

“Please stay indoors,” Shah had urged.

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