KARACHI: With the coronavirus pandemic transforming the landscape of society, a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) is being devised by the Sindh government to ensure health and safety in every sector of society.
This was revealed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in a video message on Monday.
Shah said that the SOPs would serve as guidelines for all segments of society, including mosques, educational institutions and shopping centres, once the lockdown is lifted.
“New rules are being developed for leading day-to-day life, since life will not go back to how it was in the first week of January in the post-lockdown period,” he explained, adding, “Everyone will have to reshape their domestic, business and social lives.”
He stated that the Sindh government had sought the insight of health experts, top government officials and social scientists to work out the new SOPs.
The CM stressed that it was clear that daily life has changed since the spread of coronavirus, therefore after the lockdown is lifted, a health-oriented lifestyle must be adopted.
Shah also shared that the provincial tally of coronavirus patients had reached 932 with 51 new cases, while the death toll had risen to 17 as of Monday morning.
He added that 253 of the total patients had recovered, while at present 662 patients were undergoing treatment in public and private hospitals and 342 people were in isolation at their homes.
Ration distribution and social distancing
The CM further urged philanthropists who were distributing rations to those in need to maintain their distance while doing so.
“If you [philanthropists] fail to maintain social distance from the people you are giving rations to, you may infect them,” he warned, calling this a crime against the poor. He also reminded people to ensure social distancing at their homes. “I urge you to keep a safe distance from your elders and children [at home] as they are more prone to the threat of infection.”
Phone calls from the government
Moreover, Shah informed the public that if a citizen had contracted COVID-19 or was suspected to have it, they should expect to receive phone calls from government officials. “I request that you [the public] cooperate with them [government officials] even if you receive several calls from different departments inquiring about your social contacts, as we are doing this for you.”
Meanwhile, the isolation centres in all district headquarters must have all facilities, including water, drainage, electricity, solid waste disposal and washrooms, ordered Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday.
Presiding over meetings with health department officials, he also decided to establish isolation wards with 193 beds and intensive care units (ICUs) with 104 beds for coronavirus patients in hospitals in Karachi.
On the recommendation of the Quarantine and Isolation Accommodation Committee, he directed the Provincial Disaster Management Authority director-general to arrange for halls to set up isolation centres with beds, fans and all necessary facilities in every district headquarters.
Separately, the decision was made to establish isolation wards with 59 beds in Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, 65 beds in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and 69 beds in Lyari General Hospital. Furthermore, ICUs with 12 beds are to be set up in Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital, 15 beds in JPMC, 18 in Lyari General Hospital, 26 beds at the Trauma Centre, eight beds at Dow University Hospital’s Ojha campus and 25 beds at Services Hospital.
Isolation facilities are also to be established with a total of 166 beds in Hyderabad, Sukkur, Gambat, Khairpur and Shaheed Benazirabad.
Moreover, the CM was told that the procurement committee had approved the procurement of thermal guns, vital signs monitors, sanitisers, syringe pumps, oxygen cylinder, regulators, testing systems, suction machines and other equipment.
The meeting also decided to purchase other medical supplies, including stethoscopes, surgical masks, ventilators, monitors, mobile X-ray and electrocardiogram machines, ICU beds and polymerase chain reactions machines