The Sindh government has announced that all schools, colleges and universities will remain closed due to the rising coronavirus cases in the provinces. In a tweet on Monday, Murtaza Wahab, spokesperson for the provincial government, announced that Sindh government offices will operate with an essential staff of 20 percent only as the country battles a dangerous third wave of coronavirus. “All schools, colleges and universities shall also remain closed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases,” said Wahab. The Sindh government spokesperson’s tweet came after CM Murad Ali Shah chaired a meeting of the provincial Task Force on Coronavirus. The officials present in the meeting were briefed on the coronavirus situation in the province. They were told the province presently has 664 ICU beds with ventilators. They were also informed that oxygen plants are present at Dow University Ojha Campus, Trauma Centre and Gambat Hospital. According to the spokesperson to the Sindh chief minister, Abdul Rashid Chana, the provincial administration decided to close all government offices and directed staff to work from home. Only 20 per cent staff would work from offices. “Secretaries will call their necessary staff,” the spokesperson said quoting CM Murad.”Office hours would be from 9:00am to 2:00pm.” It was further decided to ban indoor and outdoor dining with only takeaways and home deliveries allowed. “Shopping centres would close at 6:00pm. However, if the Covid-19 cases continue to increase, they would be completely closed as well,” the spokesperson said quoting Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. It was also decided during the meeting that public visits to prisons and offices would also be not allowed in view of the increase in coronavirus cases, however, hospitals are exempt from all these restrictions. “Inter-city transport will be closed from Thursday, April 29,” the CM Murad said and added that goods transport and industries would remain open adhering to Covid-19 SOPs. Shah announced that all government offices will also remain closed, saying the staffers will be working from home, while the secretaries will summon certain staff to offices as needed. Later, speaking to the media CM Murad said the Sindh government will also seek Pakistan Army’s help in implementation of SOPs. The development comes a day after Sindh asked the federal government to deploy army personnel in the province to ensure adherence to Covid-19 precautionary SOPs. “The services of armed forces of Pakistan in aid of civil power are required under Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan,” read a letter penned by the home department to the federal interior ministry. “Exact nature of deployment of troops and equipment will be communicated in due course of time after carrying out requisite assessment in consultation with [the] quarters concerned,” the communique added.