Sindh Covid-19 restrictions to remain in place for two more weeks

Murad says cases are on the rise since Eid; meeting mulls more restrictions


Our Correspondent May 22, 2021
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah: SCREEN GRAB

KARACHI:

The Sindh government decided on Saturday to retain the current restrictions in the province, amid a surge in the Covid-19 cases, for another two weeks.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the coronavirus taskforce led my Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Murad told the meeting that the highest number of 24,299 samples were tested in Sindh yesterday. As a result, 2136 new cases were reported.

At present the positivity ratio in Sindh is 8.8 per cent, the chief minister added.

"In Karachi, the ratio remained 13.97." Murad observed.

Provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Pechoho told the meeting that there were 1,232 cases on May 13, i.e. Eid, 2,076 cases on May 19 and 2,136 cases on May 21.

Read: Sindh Covid restrictions to remain in place amid surge in cases

"This shows that the cases are on the rise since Eid, and we are finding it hard to ease the restrictions in the province," the chief minister maintained.

Members of the taskforce and experts advised the CM to maintain the current restrictions for the next two weeks.

The meeting further decided that Seaview, Hawksbay, public parks, except walking tracks, will remain closed.

As per earlier decision the grocery stores will be allowed to operate till 6pm while public transports will run with 50 per cent passengers with severe penalties for violations, wedding halls will be shut.

Regarding educational institutions, the task force linked the opening of schools to the Covid-19 situation and said, "the schools will only be opened when outbreak comes under control".

CM Murad further directed the minister of education to make arrangements for the vaccination of teachers in educational institutions.

It was reported that the pandemic claimed 213 lives in Sindh in the last 30 days

Of those who died, 164 were on ventilators in hospitals and 42 patients were not, while 26 patients died at home.

During the briefing, Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi said that 10.83 per cent of the cases were reported in Hyderabad and 5.40 per cent in all other districts.

According to the weekly report, there are 15 percent cases in Karachi East, 13 per cent in Central District, 10 per cent in Malir and West.

The positivity ratio in Sukkur is 8 per cent, Jatoi added.

Sindh has so far received 1.07 million Sinopharm and 47,000 CanSino vaccines.

The reports added that 485,000 Sinovac vaccines and 107,500 AstraZeneca vaccines have also been received.

Read more: Sindh sees 22 Covid fatalities, over 2,000 new cases

Vaccination for travellers

The provincial government will also initiate vaccination for those citizens aged 18 years or above who are travelling abroad for either study or have a valid work permit.

The decision has been made in view of the fact that some countries at present require vaccination prior to travel. Meanwhile, the provincial government has decided to keep the vaccination centre at Expo Centre open 24 hours a day to facilitate office goers and businessmen.

Besides the government officials, the government has directed the private doctors, paramedics, nurses and other health staffers to get vaccinated at the earliest.

Expressing concern on the “critical situation” in Karachi following a surge in Covid cases, provincial authorities asked commoners to get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same.

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