By Malik Najmussaqib
KARACHI: District administration yesterday sealed Karachi’s Zainab market over violation of SOPs and ignoring precautionary measures in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus pandemic. The district administration was of the view that the shopkeepers did not comply with the condition of the sanitizer and were not wearing masks and gloves.
The traders strongly resisted the action of the administration which later turned into a protest. Assistant Commissioner Karachi was also present on the spot along with the police and harsh words were also exchanged.
The shopkeepers said that they were fully complying to the SOPs but the district administration sealed the market. On the other hand, the local administration has also sealed Karachi’s Victoria market, International market, Gull Plaza.
The district administration has also sealed three shops at Tariq road for violating the SOPs. Assistant Commissioner said that the violation of SOPs was observed during the survey of markets. He said that there was a rush of shoppers at the shops in the markets, adding that customers and shopkeepers were found violating SOPs.
Sindh and Punjab government had warned of tightening the restrictions after the people resort to violate SOPs and ignore precautionary measures.
He said he had eased the lockdown and allowed business activities to resume within prescribed time frame immediately after a meeting with a delegation of traders on Sunday and getting their assurances for implementation of SOPs in letter and spirit.
“I am sorry to say, I have received solid reports that nobody, including traders and the people, is observing SOPs,” he said. “If the SOPs, as agreed between the government and the small traders, are not observed,” he would have to withdraw the flexibility given for resumption of business activities.
The CM said the imposition of SOPs for doing business was aimed at saving the people from being infected and infecting others. Therefore, its [SOPs’] observance was mandatory for everyone, whether a trader or a customer. “Why you [people] are going out without any valid reasons?” he wondered. “We all have to learn a new lifestyle under Covid-19 era.”
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that record 18 people have succumbed to the novel coronavirus pandemic in a single day in the province. He said that restrictions will be imposed again if the situation does not improve.
The chief minister said that the condition of several patients suffering from Coronavirus was critical, out of which 27 are on ventilators, besides 412 new cases have been reported in Karachi. He warned about the lockdown and said that no one followed the SOPs.