Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the COVID-19 cases during the last week of June have shown an upward trend and it needs to be controlled before the advent of major events such as of Eidul Azha, local government elections and Muharram, otherwise the government would have no option but to take some tough decisions.
“This situation can easily be controlled through adopting COVID-19 SOPs such as wearing masks, avoiding handshake, ensuring social distancing and washing hands voluntarily,” he said while presiding over a Coronavirus Task Force meeting called here at CM House to take stock of the situation. The meeting was attended by Provincial Ministers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Nasir Shah, Sharjeel Memon (through video link), Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Qasim Soomro, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, PSCM Fayaz Jatoi, Home Secretary Saeed Mangnijo, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, Dr Bari, Dr Qaiser Sajjad, DR Sara Khan of World Bank, VC Dow University Dr Saeed Qureshi, Deputy DG Rangers Brig Rauf Shahzad, representatives of Corps Headquarter and intelligence.
The chief minister was told that on June 17, the province had only 38 cases with a 3.6 percent detection ratio while on June 18, the number of cases jumped to 122. After that, the cases went on increasing from 377, to 531 and then 465 on June 30. At this, the chief minister said that the situation was not alarming, but it was worrisome. “We need to control it through mass awareness,” he said. The CM was further briefed that the data of the last one week (June 24 – 30, 2022) shows that Karachi has the highest ratio of 19.76 percent cases on June 30, 19.09 percent on June 29, 19.24 percent on June 28, 9.21 percent on June 27, 22.65 percent on June 26, 21.71 percent on June 25, and 19.65 percent on June 24.
During the corresponding period, Hyderabad had 11.54 percent cases on June 24, 8.51 percent on June 25, 0.32 percent on June 26, 0.29 percent on 27, 1.09 percent on June 28, 0.15 percent on June 29 and 0.39 percent on June 30. At this the chief minister said that the ratio of cases in Karachi showed an upward trend between 19 to 21 percent during the said week while trend of the cases showed decline in Hyderabad. The weekly average of COVID-19 cases in Karachi has been recorded at 17.47 percent, 1.01 percent in Hyderabad and 1.05 percent in the rest of the province. In this way, the provincial average ratio during the said week remained at 7.66 percent. The chief minister was told that during the last 30 days, six deaths were reported, of them five on ventilators and one off vent at hospitals. The province had four deaths in May, 10 in April, and 25 in March.
Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho told the chief minister that currently out of 4122 patients only 63 were in hospitals, of them 47 were in critical condition. She added that only four patients had been shifted to ventilators. At this the chief minister said that it meant the hospitals were not under pressure.On the advice of the experts and members of the task force, the chief minister urged people of the province to get vaccinated, and if they were already vaccinated they should get booster shots. “I would urge the people of the province to wear masks, ensure social distancing and keep washing or sanitizing your hands and avoid handshakes,” he said, adding if these SOPs were adopted voluntarily, the provincial government.