By News desk
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Terming the COVID-19 situation in Karachi as alarming, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the IGP Sindh and Commissioner to ensure timely closure of all the businesses by 6 in the evening and constituted a ministerial committee to sensitise all the stakeholders, including shopkeepers, traders, transporters and politicians to cooperate with the government in the supreme interest of the public health, otherwise nothing will remain under control. In Karachi the detection rate was recorded at 26.32 percent on July 26.
Amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the province, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has issued directives to ban unnecessary movement after 6pm. The orders were issued during a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Tuesday after reviewing the latest pandemic situation. He urged people to stay home and avoid going out without any valid reason.
This he said while presiding over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Coronavirus here at the CM House on Monday. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, high officials, representatives of Corps-5, Rangers and other organisations.
Briefing the meeting, Secretary Health Dr Kazim Jatoi said that COVID detection ratio in the province has reached 12.7 percent which was the highest in the fourth wave. In Karachi the detection rate was recorded at 26.32 percent on July 26. At this the chief minister said that on July 20 Karachi had 20 percent detection rate which went on increasing to 23 percent on July 21, 21.54 percent on July 22, 23.46 percent on July 24, 24.82 percent on July 25 and 26.32 percent on July 26. “This is quite a critical situation,” he said.
The meeting was told that during the last one week, from July 19 to 25, 2021 COVID detection ratio in Karachi East was 33 percent, Korangi 21 percent, Central 20 percent, West 19 percent, Malir and South 17 percent each.
It was pointed out that during the Month of July we had 362 deaths stemming from COVID-19, of them 64 percent or 233 were on ventilators, 23 percent or 85 off-ventilators and 13 percent or 44 at homes.
Reviewing ventilator facilities at government hospitals, the CM was told that out of 686 ICU-bed with ventilators 76 were occupied and out of total 1,547 HDU beds 690 were occupied. At this the chief minister said that hospitals were coming under pressure, therefore he directed secretary health to make COVID facilities at three hospitals of the labour department, police hospital, Liaquatabad and New Karachi hospitals and establish a Marquee-type of arrangement at Service and Korangi hospitals.
Sharing the situation of coronavirus in major cities of the country, the meeting was told that Muzaffarabad has two patients on ventilators, Islamabad 23, Peshawar 21, Lahore 81, Multan 18 and Karachi 76.
The provincial government has received 6,900,997 doses of different vaccines, of them 5,620,977 have been utilised.
The chief minister observed that some political friends were issuing irresponsible statements against closure of markets or other activities. “This results in misleading the public,” he said and added he was taking strict measures just to save people of the province from the pandemic. He constituted a committee comprising Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah, Minister Industries Jam Ikram Dharejo, Minister Transport Awais Qadir Shah and Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab with the task to meet with all the stakeholders, including politicians and sensitize them about the alarming COVID situation.
The CM directed Adl IG Police and Commissioner Karachi to ensure timely closure of the markets, and also close tuition centers and private gyms which were still operating. He urged people of the province to stay home and avoid going out of home without any valid reason.
Meanwhile, the Sindh government has declared coronavirus vaccination a compulsory condition for people who are desirous to visit the wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in the province.
A statement issued on Tuesday quoted Sindh Agriculture Minister Muhammad Ismail Rahoo as saying that wearing of face masks was the other compulsory pre-condition for entering the wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in the province.
The Agriculture Minister asked the chairmen of the market committees and officials of the Sindh Agriculture Department to make sure that standard operating procedures against COVID-19 were duly implemented at the premises of Sabzi Mandi.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Tuesday extended full support to the government of Sindh on behalf of the Centre in dealing with the alarming coronavirus situation in the province.
During the meeting, the minister appreciated the measures taken by the Sindh government to curb the spread of the virus. Umar said that the Centre is keeping a close eye on the situation in Sindh.
The meeting was briefed about the pressure the situation has exerted on hospitals as well as the urgent need to vaccinate as many people as possible.
The minister informed the meeting that the measures taken by the NCOC include timely assistance to law enforcement agencies in implementing the SOPs, improvement of existing medical facilities, timely supply of oxygen, and continuous supply of vaccines.
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