Despite the increase in Corona cases in Karachi, the currently limited lockdown and precautionary measures have been ridiculed by the citizens while the restrictions imposed by the government are not being applied in any public places, markets, hotels and restaurants.
Citizens are using masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus. The Sindh government had issued a notification several weeks ago stating that markets and other business hours in Karachi would be open till 8 pm while hotels and restaurants would be open till 10 pm for all citizens. The use of masks will be mandatory and markets and bazaars will be closed one day a week according to the convenience of an area, under this facility markets and bazaars will be closed on any one day on Friday or Sunday.
The implementation of this notification issued by the Sindh government is almost non-existent. If the overall situation of the city is examined, it will be known that the major business centres of the city including Bolton Market, Jamia Cloth, Saddar, Tariq Road. Large markets and bazaars in Haideri, Liaquat, Karimabad, Landhi, Korangi and other areas are closed till 8 pm or around 9 pm. However, small shops, business centres in the suburban, middle class and elite areas of the city, They remain open till late at night and these shopkeepers continue their business, as usual, ignoring government orders.
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The city’s major restaurants, food streets, food centres, eateries, hotels and tea houses continue their business till late at night. Super Highway, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Hussainabad, Clifton, Burns Road, Kharadar and On other food streets along with food and beverage hotels are open at night and are crowded.
Corona SOPs are not being implemented in any public place, including hotels and business centres in the city. Citizens, as well as shopkeepers, are not wearing masks, neither is social distance being taken care of nor is the use of sanitiser. However, the implementation of Corona SOPs can be seen in the major business centres and centres of the city. The use of masks has been made mandatory there, but in many places, social distances are not being taken care of.
Located in Kemari, Kharadar, Sher Shah, Site, Korangi, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Federal B Area, North Karachi, Surjani Town, Shah Faisal Colony, Malir, Gulshan Hadid, Korangi, Landhi, Mahmoodabad, PIB and other areas. Men and women, the elderly and children who shop at grocery stores, dairies, bakeries, hair salons, beauty parlours and other day-to-day stores are also not taking precautionary measures against coronavirus.
Shopkeepers are not using masks in their business centres and are not caring about social distances. Hotels and teahouses in the city are crowded until late at night and people sit close together, shaking hands as usual, instead of making social distances. Neither do they wash their hands before eating tea or food, nor do vendors selling tea and food items comply with these SOPs, which increases the rate of corona cases in Karachi.
Corona cases are on the rise in various parts of the city. The smart lockdown policy by the government and the district administration to prevent corona is also failing now. The smart lockdown is announced but no strategy is adopted to implement it. The ongoing operations by the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner to implement Corona SOPs have also come to a halt, with small businesses reportedly open late into the night in many areas allegedly under the auspices of the police and district administration.
Lockdown and SOPs Became A Joke In Karachi
Are Lockdown has now become a joke?, shopkeeper Shoaib Ahmed, who sells spare parts in Liaquatabad, said that lockdown has now become a joke, daily routines across the city should be restored as before the Corona situation. The fear of Coronavirus is gone and people no longer uses masks, implementation of Corona SOPs in markets and business centres has been greatly reduced, people are no longer afraid of Corona, they understand that Corona is gone.
Talking to Munawar, a local hotel owner said that Corona SOPs are no longer being implemented in hotels. “If we ask someone to wear a mask, he starts arguing. The government should either give them Corona SOPs.” Strictly enforce SOPs or remove notification of implementation of SOPs as Corona is just a cartoon in the eyes of citizens, said Ahmad Qureshi, who works at Mini Mart and General Store.
“Implementation of Corona SOPs is almost over now. We demand the government to increase business hours,” said Gibran Ali, a young man delivering food and other items at large marts and shopping centres. Use of mask is mandatory, people wear masks in offices and private institutions, but in practice, masks are not used in public places and homes. Shehnaz Khan said that housewives usually shop at shops in their neighbourhoods. A large number of women are no longer using masks and children are also at home.
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