Karachi imposes lockdowns in four districts after surge in coronavirus cases

Two men sit on the pavement of a shuttered market, following the provincial government announcement of a lockdown amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Karachi on March 21, 2020. (AFP/File)
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Updated 21 November 2020

Karachi imposes lockdowns in four districts after surge in coronavirus cases

  • Over 850 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Karachi overnight on Saturday
  • Three days earlier, the National Coordination Committee imposed an immediate ban on large gatherings

ISLAMABAD: Four ‘high-risk’ districts in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, have been marked by provincial authorities for coronavirus related lockdowns after over 850 people in the city tested positive for COVID-19 overnight on Saturday.
Pakistan has seen coronavirus infections rising to peak levels as the country comes in the grip of a second wave of the virus.
In what is dubbed a ‘smart lockdown,’ the deputy commissioners of the administrations of several districts in the seaside metropolis have imposed mobility restrictions, with smaller, ‘micro’ lockdowns also coming into effect in numerous streets and localities. 
As part of restrictions, movements of residents in areas that have been earmarked as hotspots for COVID-19 will be restricted and  will not be allowed gatherings in their homes. The districts in question are South District, West District, Korangi District and Central District.
Three days earlier, the National Coordination Committee spearheading coronavirus relief efforts, had imposed an immediate ban on large gatherings, including weddings.
The Karachi lockdowns came into effect Saturday morning and will last until Dec. 5.
Pakistan recorded 42 deaths in the last 24 hours-- the country’s highest fatality count since mid-July.


Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

Updated 24 November 2020

Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan recently admitted that his administration was under pressure to recognize Israel
  • Pakistan's foreign office says the country supports Palestinian right to self-determination

ISLAMABAD: The foreign office of Pakistan on Tuesday "categorically rejected" speculation regarding any possibility of recognizing Israel by Pakistan, saying it believed that Palestinians should get the right to self-determination.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent statement on the subject, the foreign ministry spokesperson said that Pakistan was not willing to recognize the Jewish state until a just settlement of the Palestine issue -- that satisfied the Palestinian people -- was found.
"Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination," said an official statement circulated in Islamabad. "For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State."
Prime Minister Khan recently admitted that his administration was under international pressure to recognize Israel, though he refused to name the countries that had reached out to him for that purpose.
He also maintained that his government would go with the choice that the country's founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, made and continue to stand by the people of Palestine.