- Murtaza Wahab requests matter of lockdown not be politicised.
- Publicizes amendments in lockdown restrictions.
- 185,406 individuals bought vaccinated inside 24 hours in Sindh, says Wahab.
KARACHI: A disagreement between the Sindh authorities and the Centre over lockdown restrictions continued on Saturday with Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab requesting that the matter not be politicised.
“NCOC (National Command and Operation Centre) has not said anywhere that the lockdown should not be imposed. It has always been our aim to work in conjunction with the federal government. Unfortunately, when these people appear on TV, their statements are different.
“I request that this situation not be introduced within the political enviornment. We now have to avoid wasting our individuals from this lethal epidemic,” he said, as he addressed a press conference in the city.
“I say to these issuing statements left and proper: persuade individuals to get vaccinated as a substitute. Please cease creating chaos,” he added.
Wahab said that when the Buzdar government imposed a lockdown in Punjab, no objections were seen. “We too, didn’t increase any objections, as a result of we all know of the seriousness of the scenario,” he said, speaking of the Sindh government.
“Buzdar sahab is aware of Lahore’s scenario higher,” he added.
Speaking of Islamabad, he said that urban flooding is an unfortunate reality, occuring throughout in the world.
“Neither I, nor the chief minister commented on the flooding in Islamabad.”
Wahab said that the order issued by the home department was issued after consultation with the NCOC, and “regardless of this” Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had “issued a controversial assertion”.
The Sindh government has announced a lockdown in the province from July 31 to August 8.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that the federal government is “involved” about Sindh’s decisions.
“We efficiently combated the primary three coronavirus waves […] The Sindh authorities ought to clampdown on vaccinations. A lockdown is inappropriate,” he said.
He said government of Sindh “can’t make selections unilaterally”.
Chaudhry suggested that the provincial government make a strategy in line with the NCOC’s and federal government’s guidelines.
“The steps taken by the Sindh government, which stand in opposition to the federal government, are causing losses to the industries,” said Chaudhry.
He said that lockdown is not suitable when efforts for economic growth are being made.
Wahab also announced an amendment in lockdown restrictions in the backdrop of objections by the Centre over the potential impact on the economy.
According to the amended order, the restrictions have been modified as follows:
Essential services such as dairy/milk shops, bakeries, carriages for supply of daily and bakery products, as well as food delivery service of restaurants and e-commerce services will be exempt from the previous 6am to 6pm closure rule.
Restrictions on pillion riding have also been waived off, while the fertiliser/pesticide shops, godowns, and industrial establishments other than the export oriented industry and related to production of essential goods, have been allowed to function, provided the entire staff is fully vaccinated.
Small public transport such as taxis, rickshaws and Qingqis may move within the city with passengers not more than their prescribed capacity.
Big public transport vehicles, such as buses, mini-buses and wagons may run within the city, but exclusively to carry citizens to and from designated vaccination centres, with only 50% of their prescribed capacity.
Vehicle owners are supposed to acquire a temporary route permit from the concerned Transport and Mass Transit Department, which will be issued through consultation with the Health Department.
Moreover, the restriction of not carrying more than two persons in private vehicles has been lifted, restricted to the prescribed capacity of the vehicle concerned.
“We want the people to get out of their houses only to get vaccinated,” said Wahab.
Based on Wahab, the federal government of Sindh’s warning that sims of unvaccinated individuals could also be blocked helped in rushing up the vaccination drive.
He mentioned 185,406 individuals bought vaccinated inside 24 hours in Sindh.