KARACHI: The Sindh government has established the largest biosafety level -III (BSL-III) laboratory at the Karachi University's International Centre for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS) with a potential testing capacity of 2,400 tests per day.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, in a video message released on Thursday, said that ICCBS has been transformed into a Covid-19 testing facility.
"The lab has been provided with trained staff," he said, adding that the initial capacity is to cater 800 samples per day but within three weeks it would be enhanced to 2,400 tests per day.
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The chief minister went on to say that RNA extraction and RT-PCR kits are being provided to Professor Dr Iqbal Chaudhary, the director of the centre, for starting the tests. “This is a big news. Finally, the [Sindh] government has established the largest testing facility in the public sector.”
CM Shah also said that Karachi has produced large number of coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day. "The situation demanded drastic measures [to curb the spread of the Covid-19]."
He said that a total of 3,373 people were tested, out of which 298 were diagnosed Covid-19 positive. "Out of these [positive] cases, 202 belonged to Karachi and the worst affected districts are South, Central, East, Malir, as well as Korangi,” he added.
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The chief minister said that 33,028 tests have been conducted, out of which 3,671 were diagnosed positive. "Four more patients succumbed to Covid-19 infection on Thursday and the death toll has reached to 73 so far which is 1.98 per cent of the total cases."
He added that 2,934 patients are under treatment, of them 1,871 are self-isolated, 649 at isolation centres and 423 in different hospitals.
CM Shah said that 5,102 Tableeghi Jamaat members have been tested and 764 were diagnosed positive. Results of 17 samples are awaited.
He further said that the members who came out positive were under treatment.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah establishes Bio- safety Level 3 Lab at Karachi University for COVID-19 tests... pic.twitter.com/lZSzm4eXzN— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) April 23, 2020