Karachi: Amid a record increase in coronavirus cases in Sindh during the last 24 hours, the city’s administration has granted conditional permission for the use of banquet halls in Karachi for holding marriage ceremonies.
Karachi’s Commission Iftikhar Ali Shallwani held negotiations with the representatives of the association of banquet hall owners in Karachi to issue revised guidelines for marriage ceremonies in the city.
According to the new guidelines, the marriage halls would not be allowed to entertain more than 300 guests at a time. The ceiling of the banquet halls would be opened up to 40 per cent for ventilation. The halls will use fans instead of the air-conditioners. The buffet system will not be allowed to serve meal to the guests. No more than three guests would sit on a single table.
President of the Marriage Halls’ Association, Rana Raees Ahmed, assured the city’s commissioner that the government-recommended standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the COVID-19 spread would be strictly followed for holding the marriage ceremonies.
A “Smart lockdown” will also be imposed in four districts of the city and while “Micro lockdown” would be ordered in two other districts in view of the increase in coronavirus cases.
The smart lockdown will be imposed in Districts East, West, Central, and South of the city while micro lockdown will be ordered in areas of Districts Korangi and Malir in view of the scattered cases of coronavirus there.
Strictly follow SOPs
The commissioner asked the deputy commissioners posted in districts to ensure that super markets, retail stories, marriage halls, and restaurants in their respective areas should strictly follow the SOPs.
He said that affected areas of the city had to undergo lockdown once more while people in rest of Karachi should strictly follow the SOPs in view of the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the Sindh province on Friday detected another 1,276 coronavirus cases out of 12,975 tests conducted in the previous 24 hours. This is the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the province in past four months.
Out of these 1,276 new cases, 929 COVID-19 patients belonged to Karachi.
The coronavirus detection rate in Sindh has increased to 10 per cent. There are total 13,086 coronavirus patients under treatment in Sindh as 12,537 are at homes, 544 at different hospitals, and nine at isolation centres. Condition of 446 patients has been critical as 48 of them have been on ventilators.
Another 19 patients of COVID-19 died in the province in the previous days.