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September 15, 2020

Sindh govt decides to close isolation facility at Karachi Expo Centre

Karachi

September 15, 2020

The Sindh government on Monday decided to shut down the Karachi Expo Centre’s field isolation facility that was established five months ago for the treatment of the coronavirus patients in the province.

The decision to this effect was made as Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah on Monday chaired a meeting of the committee that has been overseeing the affairs of the coronavirus emergency fund of the Sindh government. The meeting also decided to wind up the project of setting up a field isolation centre at the PAF Museum Karachi, although the project was never launched or inaugurated.

The 1,200-bed Expo Centre field isolation facility was inaugurated on April 2, 2020. It was meant to serve as the cornerstone of the government’s efforts against the spread of the novel coronavirus; however, only a fraction of the Expo Centre field isolation centre could be utilised owing to lower number of COVID-19 patients in the city requiring isolation at such dedicated makeshift facilities.

Speaking on Monday, the Sindh chief secretary said that a summary would be sent to the CM to get his approval for the formal closure of the two isolation facilities in the province.

He said that the field isolation facility in Karachi was being closed as there was a marked decrease in the new cases of the viral disease while hospitals of the province had also arranged ample space to accommodate the patients of COVID-19.

He also asked the department to arrange coronavirus testing kits in sufficient numbers as the educational institutions were being reopened.

Participants of the meeting were informed that the Sindh government had established its coronavirus emergency fund in March and a sum of Rs3.64 billion was deposited in the fund.

The fund was utilised for setting up field isolation facilities, and purchase of personal protective equipment, ventilators and medicines to deal with the pandemic treating the cases of coronavirus in the province.

The chief secretary said that a transparent procedure was adopted to make expenditures out of the emergency fund. He added that services of an independent audit firm were being availed to do the third-party evaluation and inspection of the purchases and procurement through the emergency fund.