Sindh govt allows resumption of public, online transport

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The Sindh government on Tuesday allowed public transport and online ride-hailing services to resume from tomorrow with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The decision to resume public transport services came after successful talks between Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah and transporters who have been pressing the government for permission to bring their buses on roads citing relaxation in the lockdown. Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah said transporters will have to ensure implementation of the government-defined SOPs, including availability of hand sanitizers and wearing of masks in vehicles, otherwise, action will be taken against transporters. Vehicles will not be allowed to carry extra passengers, he cleared. The minister said only two people will be allowed to sit in a ride-sharing services’ vehicle and three in case of emergency while seat by seat online bus services will be permitted. The government has also constituted a team to monitor the public transport operations amid the lockdown. Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah assured that action will be taken against those transporters who don’t follow the SOPs. Local buses and other public transport have been out of service since the last week of March when the lockdown was imposed to stem COVID-19 spread. The transporters have since been complaining of financial losses and asked the government to prepare a relief package for them and resume their operations. It is to mention here that the provincial government a day earlier issued a notification, allowing markets to remain open in the city from 6 am in the morning till 7 pm in the evening. Medical stores and essential items seller can open their businesses 24/7. The notification also says that if the government finds people breaking rules and not following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). then the decisions and leeway given may be reverted. Marriage halls, business centers and expo halls will remain closed while all sorts of sporting activities, grounds and facilities shall also remain under lock and key.

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