KARACHI: Prevalence of Omicron variant has reached upto 50 percent in Sindh, especially in Karachi where 351 samples of Covid-19 positive cases were analyzed, of which 175 people were found to be infected with the Omicron variant, the Sindh government said on Monday.
At a high-level meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the province, the Sindh Health department told Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah that 351 samples were tested to ascertain the existence of the Omicron variant in the province against which 175 cases of Omicron were detected. It was also pointed out that out of 175 people, few had travel history predominantly from the UK, Dubai, USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Nairobi and Angola.
Presided over by CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, the meeting was attended by Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Adviser Law Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Soomro, acting Chief Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervez, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Dr Bari of Indus Hospital and other concerned officials.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that during the last 30 days -- Dec 3, 2021 to Jan 2, 2022 -- the number of Covid cases has started increasing. On December 3, 2021, 261 new cases were detected which kept on showing an upward trend and finally on January 2, 2022 reached 403.
At this, the chief minister said that the situation was critical and urged the health department to start an extensive vaccination drive and increase tests of people all over Sindh. He urged the people of the province to adopt precautionary measures, otherwise his government would have to take strict measures. The meeting was told that during the last 30 days -- Dec 4, 2021 to Jan 1, 2022 -- 51 patients died, of them 40 or 78 percent were on ventilators, six or 12 percent off ventilators, five or 10 percent at home.
To a question, the CM was told that so far 29,579,471 vaccine doses had been administered all over Sindh.
Later, Sindh government’s spokesman Barrister Murtaza Wahab said the provincial government does not want to impose strict measures in the province despite rising cases of Covid-19 due to the spread of Omicron variant and urged people to follow the SOPs, wear masks and avoid going to crowded places for their own safety.
Terming the Sehat Card Scheme of the federal government as a big scam, Murtaza Wahab said the PTI government has failed to run public health facilities and now it was benefiting the private health sector by diverting the public money to private sector.
He claimed that Sindh was providing free-of-charge health and medical treatment facilities to people from all over the country and added that people from entire Pakistan were visiting hospitals in Sindh for seeking medical treatment.
Only the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) treated 1.8 million people, of which 0.9 were treated alone at main NICVD in Karachi, he said adding that the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) was carrying out liver, kidney and cornea transplants free of charge for people from the whole country.
In a statement issued herefrom the CM House on Monday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah stated fortunately, no death stemming from coronavirus was reported on Monday, however 339 new cases emerged when 10,632 tests were conducted.
He said that till last Sunday, the number of deaths was 7,673 while 10,632 samples were tested which detected 339 cases that constituted 3.2 percent current detection rate. So far, 7,169,055 tests have been conducted against which 481,949 cases were diagnosed, of them 97.1 percent or 468,200 patients have recovered, including 33 overnight, he added.
The CM said that currently 6,076 patients were under treatment, of them 5,880 were in home isolation, 42 at isolation centers and 154 at different hospitals, adding that condition of 148 patients was stated to be critical, including 16 shifted to ventilators.
According to him, out of 339 new cases, 236 have been detected from Karachi, including 110 from South, 93 East, 18 Central, 10 Korangi, 3 Malir and 2 West. Hyderabad has 25, Shaheed Benazirabad 13, Dadu and Tharparkar 10 each, Badin 9, Jamshoro 8, Matiari 7, Shikarpur 4, Ghotki, Umerkot and Sukkur 3 each, Jacobabad, Sanghar, Tando Allahyar and Mirpurkhas 2 each.
Sharing the vaccination data, the CM said that 29,313,787 vaccines have been administered upto December 31st, and added during the last 24 hours 265,684 people were inoculated, in total 29,579,471 vaccines have been administered, which constituted 53.62 percent of the vaccine eligible population. The chief minister urged the people of the province to follow SOPs.
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