KARACHI: Keeping in view the surging COVID-19 cases in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur cities, the Sindh government imposed a sweeping restriction on ‘unnecessary movement’ after 8pm starting May 25 (Tuesday). The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus at CM House with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in the chair. The meeting decided to impose a ban on people’s movement after 8pm. Murad Ali Shah ordered the provincial police chief to stop people travelling in cars unnecessarily. According to CM Shah, if the people follow the safety guidelines for two more weeks, the sharp post-Eid rise in COVID-19 cases will reduce. The CM said that he would pay surprise visits to check the implementation of SOPs. “50 percent of current total cases in the country are from Sindh,” he claimed. The CM also directed the provincial health minister to make arrangements for mass vaccination in industrial areas and instructed to seek help from the industrialists. * پورے ملک میں جتنے بھی کیسز ہیں ان کا 50 فیصد سندھ میں ہیں، وزیراعلیٰ سندھ — CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) May 24, 2021 “We have to protect our people by vaccinating them,” he said and directed deputy commissioners and SSPs to implement restrictions. On Sunday, the Sindh government imposed more curbs after the rising number of coronavirus cases throughout the province. According to the Sindh Home Department, a rise in positivity was observed throughout the province, especially Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur. “The Task Force discussed various ways and means to contain the disease. It was reiterated that compliance of the SOPs (standard operating procedures) for Covid continues to remain a cornerstone measure for control of disease spread,” said the statement. “The Task Force also decided to issue strict warnings and advice for the public to strictly follow SOPs on Covid control with a warning that if the cases rise, the closure of many activities may have to be undertaken, especially in areas with high positivity,” the statement added. Shah said that shops, including supermarkets would operate from 6 am to 6 pm. “We would not allow supermarkets to operate under the pretext of having a pharmacy,” he said and added pharmacies at hospitals and as separate stores would operate round the clock. The restaurants would offer only take away and home delivery service. It was decided that marriage halls, expo halls, parks, Indoor Gyms, sports facilities, amusement parks, cinemas, beauty parlors, shrines and all tourist spots have been closed for next two weeks. “All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities have been closed all over Sindh till further orders. The following decisions were announced after the meeting: Business hours will now be from 5am to 6pm, except for essential services. Bakeries and milk shops are allowed to operate till midnight. Pharmacies inside shopping malls will close at 6pm, along with other shops. Fridays and Sundays to be off days for businesses, except for Hyderabad, where Fridays and Saturdays will be the designated off days. All outdoor and indoor dining is henceforth barred; takeaway, drive through and delivery services to continue. Public transport — inter-city, intra-city and inter-provincial — allowed with 50% occupancy, strict observance of SOPs.