The Sindh government, bringing an end to a nine-day lockdown, on Sunday announced revised Covid-19 restrictions for the province as the country battles fourth wave of the pandemic, a private TV channel reported. The new restrictions are set to take effect on Monday, August 9, and will last till August 31. Under the revised curbs, market and business activities may continue till 8pm. This includes standalone grocery stores, fish and meat shops, vegetable and fruit vendors, e-commerce and bakeries. Essential services have been allowed to open longer. These include pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, milk shops and tandoors. Indoor dining will not be allowed. Outdoor dining is allowed for a maximum of 300 people till 10pm under strict coronavirus safety precautions. Takeaway and home delivery are allowed 24/7, subject to following of safety measures with staff and delivery personnel fully vaccinated. Indoor weddings have been banned while outdoor weddings are allowed with a maximum of 300 guests till 10pm with strict enforcement of safety protocols. Shrines and cinemas in the province will remain closed. Indoor gatherings, including cultural, musical, religious events have been prohibited. Outdoor gatherings are allowed for a maximum of 300 guests with strict enforcement of safety protocols. Public transport will run on sanctioned routes with 50% occupancy and staff fully vaccinated. Snacks are not allowed on board the vehicles. Railway services will continue with 50% occupancy, subject to enforcement of strict safety protocols and vaccination of all staff. Amusement parks, swimming pools and water sports facilities will remain closed. Earlier in the day, Sindh Education Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah announced Sunday that schools will reopen after 10 days, on August 19. Speaking at a press conference, the Sindh education minister was flanked by MPA Ismail Rahu. “Students will not be allowed to carry their mobile phones inside the exam centres,” he said, adding that teachers and exam staff will also not be allowed to bring cellphones inside the centre. Rahu said that intermediate exams that had been postponed due to the lockdown will be taken from August 10, reiterating that the government will not allow cheating at any cost. Announcing that schools will remain closed till August 19, Sardar Ali Shah said the decision had been taken to facilitate students. He said that while the provincial government will monitor the coronavirus situation in the 10 days till August 19, schools will remain closed as students have difficulties commuting due to the Muharram processions. “Processions are taken out across the provice from Muharram 7, which causes problems for students,” he said. In response to a question, Shah said that it was important for the provincial government to review its syllabus. “We are still teaching children the miracles of the radio,” he said. “Does anyone even have radio in their homes in this day and age?” Shah said if public schools undergo reform and improve for the better, parents will never send their children to private schools. “No parent wants to send his/her children to private schools for additional fees,” he said. In response to a question, Shah said the Sindh government will try to ensure that there aren’t major differences between the decisions taken by the provincial government and the centre. He said the Sindh government will also minotor and check whether school staff members and teachers get themselves vaccinated or not. Pakistan on Sunday reported a coronavirus positivity rate above 8%, as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise across the country. The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) disclosed that 4,455 people tested positive for the virus on Saturday out of 55,002 who were tested for the infection. This brings the coronavirus positivity ratio to 8.09%. As per data from the NCOC, 68 people succumbed to the virus over the past 24 hours. Pakistan currently has 82,076 active coronavirus cases while the total number of cases in the country have amounted to 1,067,580. The total number of deaths due to the virus have crossed 23,865.