While the country attempts to recover from the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising positivity ratio in Sindh has led the provincial health department to propose the shutting down of schools once more.
It bears mentioning that the Covid positivity ratio climbed to seven percent in the province, with a 14 percent ratio in Karachi. It further proposed a ban on indoor dining and keeping businesses closed for two days, instead of the one safe day a week currently being enforced.
The proposals were made during a meeting on the coronavirus situation, headed by Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, where the chief secretary directed all commissioners and deputy commissioners to take strict action against violators of the violations of pandemic-related standard operation procedures.
Chairing an important meeting on the coronavirus situation held at Sindh Secretariat on Monday, he said that marriage halls, cattle markets (Cattle Mandis), restaurants and markets would be sealed for violating SOPs of coronavirus.
Mumtaz Ali Shah directed all the divisional commissioners including the commissioner Karachi to impose smart lockdowns in the areas where cases of coronavirus are on the rise.
At the meeting, Secretary Health Kazim Hussain Jatoi proposed to close primary schools. He further proposed banning indoor dining, minimum attendance in wedding halls and complete closure of business two days a week. On this, the Sindh CS said that the proposals of the health department would be presented in the meeting of the task force headed by the Sindh chief minister.
The officials of the health department informed the meeting that 3.35 million vaccinations have been carried out in the province. Vaccination is being carried out in the province through PPHI, 647 vaccination centres of the health department and 347 mobile teams.
Mumtaz Ali Shah directed all the commissioners and deputy commissioners to complete the target of vaccination and said that all measures should be taken to stop the spread of coronavirus. He also directed health authorities and deputy commissioners to increase the mobile teams for vaccination.
The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Home Qazi Shahid Pervez, Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi and all Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Monday decided to ban the entry of all government and private schools’ teaching and non-teaching staff to the educational institutes from Aug 1 who are not 100% vaccinated.
The District Education Officers have been assigned the task to provide the vaccination certificates of the educational institutes’ staff to the education department.
It has been decided to take action against unvaccinated teaching and non-teaching staff. From Aug 1, the teachers and other staff of educational institutes who are not inoculated would be denied entry to the school buildings.
The staff both academic and non-academic have been advised to be 100% inoculated.
District Education Authority, Lahore CEO Pervaiz Akhtar issued the directives. The DEOs would provide vaccination certificates to the DEA, Lahore. In the first phase, the DEOs would provide Covid-19 vaccine certificates of teaching and non-teaching staff till July 13.
Mr Pervaiz said that the vaccination certificates of private schools’ staff would also be checked and no leniency would be shown in this regard.
On the other hand, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafiq Malik demanded 100% vaccination certificates from all secretaries and commissioners. He asked the secretaries to monitor the vaccination campaign personally.
Sources revealed that the chief secretary directed to take action against those officials who were refusing to get Covid-19 vaccine jabs.
The S&G Department has issued a directive in this regard.
with additional input from INP