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More smart lockdowns for Karachi as coronavirus cases surge

Security personnel are seen speaking to motorcycle commuters at a stop-and-search point in Karachi. — APP/File

Authorities in Karachi have imposed more lockdowns in several neighbourhoods of the port city as the coronavirus cases continue to increase in the country.

The imposition of more smart lockdowns was announced in a notification from the district's deputy commissioner on Thursday.

A total of 3,499 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 406,810. With 39 new deaths, the country's coronavirus death toll reached 8,205. So far, a total of 346,951 people have recovered from the virus while the active number of cases stands at 51,654.

With 42,904 tests conducted across Pakistan, the positivity rate has reached 8.1%.

Meanwhile, the lockdown, imposed in several areas of Gulberg, North Nazimabad, and North Karachi, will remain in effect till December 16, the notification said.

The notification stressed that the authorities will strictly enforce coronavirus standard operations procedures (SOPs) to curb the virus' spread in affected areas.

Only grocery stores, pharmacies, and essentials shops will be allowed to remain open in affected areas, the notification added.

Meanwhile, indoor dining remains banned in Karachi and is only allowed in restaurants that can cater to customers in open spaces; however, delivery is permitted.

Markets and business centres have been ordered to close by 8pm six days throughout the week and close down completely on Sundays.

Last month, Sindh Health Minister Azra Pechuho had said that the number of coronavirus patients in ICUs had risen, raising alarm bells that the health situation across the province was worsening.

However, speaking on Geo News's show "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath", she said that ICUs in the province still had the capacity to accommodate coronavirus patients.

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