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March 22, 2020

Number of coronavirus cases in Sindh rises to 292

Top Story

March 22, 2020

KARACHI: Authorities in Sindh on Saturday moved 83 pilgrims from Balochistan, who were trying to go to Iran, to a secure quarantine facility on the Northern Bypass as the number of Corona cases in Sindh rose to 292.

The Sindh government officials said they had moved 83 people, mostly pilgrims trying to cross into Iran for 'Ziarat' but due to closure of the borders could not be allowed to go ahead, to a quarantine facility at Northern Bypass and added that they would be tested and if found negative, would be allowed to return to their residences in a couple of days. On the other hand, the number of Coronavirus patients rose to 292 for the viral disease. This was announced at the 24th meeting of the Taskforce on Coronavirus, presided over by the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday at the Chief Minister’s House. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisor law, chief secretary, IGP Sindh, provincial secretaries, representatives of Corps 5, Rangers, WHO, FIA, Airport, civil aviation and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Chief said that the trend of transmission of new cases was on the increase. He said the first case was reported on Februray 2, 2020, 10 cases on March 9, 25 cases on March 19. This is a serious trend and “we would have to observe self-isolation which is the only way out to keep ourselves secure,” he said. The daily reports of suspects presented in the meeting says that 1,874 suspects were identified by government hospitals, of them 21 required test. The private hospitals reported 702 cases and five of them needed test. The airport authorities told the chief minister that there were 29 flight scheduled today but 12 were cancelled. The 17 flights brought 3,428 passengers all of whom were screened and eight were declared suspects. They were shifted to quarantine unit and their samples were sent for test.

The chief minister was told that 220-bed hospital at Kharadar with seven ventilators besides 23 ICUs and CCUs are available across Karachi for any emergency.

It was pointed out that 2,366 nurses were being hired within the next two days, of them 300 nurses would be posted at Expo Center and 690 in other 23 districts.The chief minister directed the health department to recruit 1,500 doctors and 500 technicians within the next three days.

“We urgently require doctors, nurses and technicians to operate the newly established hospitals,” he said. The chief minister visited Expo Center and reviewed the over all arrangements being made there for Isolation Centers and 100-bed Field Hospital. He was briefed about the arrangements and requirements.

The chief minister directed the commissioner Karachi to purchase incinerators for Expo Center to destroy solid waste of the patients.

“The solid waste may not be transported anywhere in the city and it must be destroyed there,” he directed. Shah said the 100-bed field hospital at Expo center would be upgraded to 10,000 beds.

The Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he has released Rs11.628 billion as regular and special grants for government efforts to prevent and control coronavirus in the province.

This includes Rs3 billion contributed by the government employees in the government fund. Shah said that Rs3 billion was released in the Corona Fund, Rs300 million to Indus, Rs100 million to Directorate of Health, Rs50 million health department, Rs835.9 milllion to private partners, Rs6.9 billion for special grant for coronavirus, Rs50 million to DCS Malir, Rs76 million to DC Sukkur, Rs50 million to DC Larkana and Rs250 million to PDMA.

The chief minister said that 10 hotels may be hired by commissioner Karachi for developing into quarantine. Similarly, expenditures would also be incurred for 6,000-room quarantine at the Northern Bypass, Labour Square. Murad Ali Shah said that at present there were 827 ventilators with health department which would be increased to 5,000.

“We are also planning to support the unemployed and the daily wagers through organizations like Edhi and Saylani Welfare Trust.

The chief minister once again urged the people of Sindh to stay indoors to protect themselves and their countrymen.