Businesses in Pakistan oppose strict lockdown
A vendor carries facemasks for sale on a deserted street during a lockdown amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Lahore’s old city on March 23, 2020. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)
BUSINESS leaders in Karachi, Pakistan have opposed strict lockdown restrictions in the metropolis and urged the authorities to forcefully vaccinate the public to curb the fourth coronavirus wave, The News reported.
The reaction from businesses comes after the government announced a nine-day lockdown in the Sindh province with a special focus on Karachi in the wake of a sharp rise in the Covid-19 cases.
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and Karachi Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said it was impossible for them to pay salaries to workers due to the closure of industries and businesses.
“Pakistan’s economic hub Karachi should not be completely locked down in the larger national interest,” president FPCCI Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo was quoted as saying in the news report.
“The only solution out of the current situation, without causing any harm to businesses and employment opportunities, is to allow business and economic activities under strict compliance of SOPs (standard operating procedures) and mandatory vaccination of the workforce.”
“If industries and businesses remain under restrictions, we will not be able to pay salaries,” he added.
He urged the government to review the strict restrictions that are hurting the businesses.
Chairman Businessmen Group Zubair Motiwala said the only workable solution to minimise the number of Covid cases is to forcefully get people vaccinated and ensure strict implementation of SOPs.
Motiwala stressed that the government should carry out an aggressive vaccination campaign and compel masses to get vaccinated at the earliest.