QUETTA: The federal and provincial governments need to proceed with coordinated strategies to curb the coronavirus outbreak and mitigate its effect on the poor, said President Arif Alvi on Wednesday during his day-long visit in Quetta, where he found the measures in place to be satisfactory.
The president chaired a meeting with provincial and federal officials to review the current situation with regards to Covid-19 in Balochistan and assess the strategy going forward.
The president was briefed by Balochistan Chief Secretary Captain (retd) Fazeel Asghar on the measures taken by the provincial government as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alvi expressed his satisfaction on the measures taken thus far and urged the provincial government to ensure that effective relief is provided to low-income groups, and those suffering economically due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
As of April 29, a total of 23,422 persons have been screened in Balochistan. Of these, 13,286 were identified as suspected cases. Thus far the province has carried out a total of 8,504 tests, out of which 7,589 persons tested negative. The number of confirmed positive cases in Balochistan stands at 915, with 725 active cases, 176 recovered, and 14 deaths.
Around 62 positive cases were confirmed today, and 72 positive cases were reported yesterday - these are the highest positive numbers in the province in two consecutive days.
According to the Balochistan government's daily situation report, 834 persons are awaiting their test results, while 513 tests were conducted today.
Meanwhile, the Young Doctors Association of Balochistan has expressed grave concerns over the rapid spread of coronavirus in the province. The doctors stressed on the worrying increase of locally transmitted cases, following the ease of lockdown measures. They demanded of the government to impose a 15-day curfew and complete lockdown across the province.
"If the situation remains the same, there will be less space in hospitals. Due to a low budget, the condition of the Balochistan health department is unsatisfactory. 300 to 400 tests a day are insufficient. This is a matter of concern. We cannot wait any longer. Doctors and health care providers who died of coronavirus shall be declared martyrs,” maintained Young Doctors Association President Dr Yasir Achakzai and other doctors as they addressed a press conference in Civil Hospital Quetta on Sunday last.
In attendance at the meeting with the president were Federal Interior Minister Syed Ijaz Shah, Federal Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, National Disaster Management Authority Chairperson Lieutenant-General Muhammad Afzal, Balochistan Governor Justice (retd) Amanullah Khan Yaseen Zai, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, and Commander Southern Command Lieutenant-General Waseem Ashraf, as well as other high-ranking officials.
Upon his arrival in Quetta, the president was received by the provincial governor and chief minister.