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September 25, 2020

18th amendment helped Sindh govt tackle COVID-19 pandemic well: CM Murad Ali Shah

Karachi

September 25, 2020

By dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sindh government learnt how to deal with multiple challenges at once. The biggest challenge for the government was to use this experience and adapt to challenges such as the flood, which required combined efforts from the public and private sector

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this on Thursday as he spoke at a lecture organised by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi. The title of the talk was ‘Leadership under crisis: Pandemic and Civic Issues’.

IBA Executive Director Dr S Akbar Zaidi began the talk by asking the CM about the preparations of the Sindh government for the pandemic. Shah replied that it was essential that all the health facilities in the province were analysed first to gauge if the pandemic could be controlled. After a thorough examination of all the hospitals across the province, private sector doctors were mobilized and hospitals were equipped as quickly as possible.

When asked about the lockdown, the CM defended the actions of his government. As a consequence of mass gatherings, Sindh increased its testing from 100 tests per day to almost 7,000 tests per day in most health facilities, he said, adding that as a result of these tests, Sindh had now tested almost twice the number of people per day compared to the rest of the country.

With the pandemic governing most actions of the government, Dr Zaidi spoke about disruptions in the lives of students as well as those associated with the education industry. The CM agreed that all citizens must be worried about the developing situation in terms of the second spike but strict adherence to the standard operating procedures and social distancing protocols must still be maintained at all spaces.

With the 18th Amendment aiding the efforts of the Sindh government, the CM remarked that the freedom to act swiftly and make timely decisions was the key factor which let his government perform well. He said that keeping business hours open throughout the day and night was not feasible as people preferred to come out when they felt the activity was minimal, often during late hours of the night, contradicting the social distancing protocol.

Following the lecture, a question and answer session ensued. Responding to one of the questions, the CM said that the political leadership had a vision, but the bureaucracy had been hesitant to implement it.