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Stats show COVID-19 has penetrated into our homes, says Murtaza Wahab


May 3, 2020

The spokesman for the Sindh government claimed in a video message released on Saturday that COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly among women across the province.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who is also the chief minster’s law adviser, said that up to 26 per cent of the total novel coronavirus patients in the province were women. “Now even innocent children have started contracting the infection,” he pointed out.

He lamented that up to 253 of Sindh’s children under 10 years of age have been infected with COVID-19. “The very reason to put forth these statistics is to inform you that the coronavirus has now penetrated into our homes,” he stressed.

“This is happening because we have not been observing the due precautions. Our women and children have started contracting the coronavirus infection because we have not been observing the precautionary measures, including the compulsory rule of social distancing,” he emphasised.

“This is the reason women and children in our households have started catching the virus, since our own family members are being affected because we are not observing the due precautions,” he said. “The most important thing is that we cannot overcome this pandemic without the government’s cooperation.”

Wahab said that during the past two months, the general public had provided considerable support to the Sindh government in its measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the province. “Owing to that reason, there was no such rapid spread of the virus previously as is being observed now.”

He said that all these statistics were being shared with the public to make them realise about the importance of the due safety measures against local transmission of the novel coronavirus.

He also said the Sindh government is fully aware of the economic woes of the people due to the lockdown against the spread of COVID-19. “But all these hardships and worries are not more crucial than the lives of the people.”

He added that quite soon, all these hardships would be over, but for that to happen, people had to collectively win the fight against the coronavirus, and that could be possible only if they stayed at home in accordance with the directions of the government.

Rude behaviour

On April 29, Wahab had appealed to the people to act in a proper and polite manner with Rangers soldiers and police and traffic police officials who have been performing their duties in the province to enforce the lockdown against the spread of COVID-19.

In a video message, he said the provincial government had made several tough decisions to prevent local transmission of the novel coronavirus in the province.

He said the implementation of these decisions could not be ensured without doctors, nurses, paramedical staff members and other health professionals as well as officials and soldiers of the law enforcement and security agencies actively engaged in their respective duties.

He also said Rangers soldiers and police and traffic police officials had been performing their duties at numerous checkpoints round the clock to ensure the imposition of the lockdown against the spread of COVID-19.

Even then, he lamented, some of the citizens had interacted with these officials in a very rude manner, which was extremely sorrowful. He said citizens should know well that the only reason the officials were out there was to safeguard public health against the threat of the coronavirus. “For this sole reason these officials are present at different road intersections and roundabouts round the clock, while they are away from their families,” said the spokesman.

He said 45 police officials and four Rangers soldiers in the province had been infected with the novel coronavirus in the line of duty as they continued to be the frontline soldiers in the war against the transmission of the deadly virus.

“We should realise the fact that all these officials have been away from their families just to keep us safe. They deserve to be treated with respect.”

Wahab reiterated the appeal of the provincial government that people should observe self-isolation as much as possible to play their part in the collective struggle of society against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Bribery claims

On April 25, the Sindh government’s spokesman had rejected the claims made in the audio clips circulating on social media that the provincial administration has been demanding money to allow the reopening of businesses in Karachi during the current preventive lockdown against local transmission of COVID-19.

In a statement, Wahab said that these allegations against the chief minister and his government are completely baseless and false. He said the audio clips being circulated on social media to propagate these false allegations have nothing to do with the facts and reality.

He said that legal action will be taken against the people responsible for propagating the fake audio clips. The Sindh government will contact the Federal Investigation Agency and other relevant institutions for starting legal action against the people spreading these false allegations, he added.

The adviser said that the associations of industrialists and business persons have also denied the use of such unlawful tactics by the provincial government’s officials.

He said the people attempting to malign the Sindh administration by creating doubts about the conduct of the provincial authorities during the COVID-19 emergency will not succeed. Such people have always believed in levelling baseless allegations against their political opponents, he added.

Wahab said that the mission of the Sindh government to serve the masses across the province cannot be dampened by using such vicious tactics. The masses know the people who are behind such propaganda against the provincial government and who will fail again, he added.

He said the Sindh government has been making decisions in the best interest of the people of the province since day one of the novel coronavirus crisis. The use of such propaganda should be avoided at such a critical juncture in the pandemic, he added.

The government spokesman said that action will be taken if any person or association can present proof that bribes have been demanded by the provincial authorities for allowing the reopening of businesses in the city.