Sindh moves to restrict unnecessary public movement after 6pm
Covid positivity ratio in Karachi rises to alarming 26.32% as fourth Covid wave hits Sindh
The Sindh government on Tuesday moved to restrict public movement in Karachi in the night-time in order to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus cases in the metropolis as the fourth wave of the pandemic hit the province very hard.
The national command and operation centre (NCOC) – the nerve centre of the federal government’s unified effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic – endorsed the steps being taken by the Sindh to tackle the infectious disease, noting that the positivity ratio in the city had risen to 26.32%.
There has been an upsurge in fresh Covid cases, particularly in Sindh after Eidul Azha holidays. As a result, the Sindh government announced several restrictions from Monday, including closure of businesses by 6pm.
On Tuesday Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed the inspector general of the Sindh police and the commissioner Karachi to take measures to ensure that no one stayed out unnecessarily after 6pm. He said that several tuition centres and private gyms were still open, which must be closed.
A spokesperson for the chief minister said that Shah had formed a committee, comprising Local Government Minister Nasir Shah, Industries Minister Ikram Dharejo, Transport Minister Awais Qadir Shah and Adviser on Law Murtaza Wahab.
The committee has been tasked with meeting all the stakeholders, including politicians, traders and shopkeepers and sensitise them about the alarming situation. He urged the people to stay at home and avoid going out without any valid reason. “There should be no politics on the Covid situation.”
Shah chaired a meeting of the provincial task force and reviewed the overall Covid situation. He termed the pandemic situation “alarming”. The meeting was informed said that the provincial positivity ratio had reached 12.7%, the highest ratio during the fourth wave of the disease.
In Karachi, the financial hub of the country, the positivity rate on Monday was recorded at 26.32%. the meeting was also informed that 362 patients died in July, of them 318 breathed their last in hospitals, including 233 on ventilators.
The meeting was also given a comparison of Karachi and other Covid hotspots of the country. It was told that in Muzafarabad only two patients were on ventilators, 23 in Islamabad, 21 in Peshawar, 81 in Lahore, 18 in Multan while 76 patients on ventilators in Karachi.
Sindh reported at least 2,517 new coronavirus cases, which raised the provincial tally to 371,745 on Tuesday. Also 20 patients succumbed to the deadly virus, raising the province’s death toll to 5,860, since the eruption of the pandemic in February 2020.
“This is quite a critical situation,” Shah noted. He emphasised that the provincial government was taking strict measures “just to save people” of the province from the deadly pandemic. He directed the health department to conduct more Covid tests and trace the contacts of the infected persons.
Shah observed that some political friends were issuing irresponsible statements against closure of markets or other activities. “This results in misleading the public,” he said. He formed the ministerial committee to sensitise all the stakeholders about the alarming Covid situation.
NCOC endorses measuresThe National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), during its meeting chaired by Planning Minister Asad Umar, endorsed the steps being taken by the Sindh government to tackle Covid-19 spread and assured full cooperation for the federal government.
The forum was apprised of the deteriorating pandemic situation in Karachi, stress on the healthcare system, violations of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and the urgent need for vaccination. It was noted that prevalence ratio in Karachi was 26.32% whereas 980 patients were in intensive care.
Meanwhile, in its daily update, the NCOC said the national tally of active Covid cases rose to 59,899, as 3,262 more people tested positive for the virus while 1,123 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours. The national positivity ratio was 6.6%.
According to the update, hospitalisation of Covid patients rose to 3,104, of them 2,722 patients were in critical condition, including 276 on ventilators. During the last 24 hours, the NCOC said 45 patients were brought to hospitals in critical condition.
The forum said that 39 patients, of them 33 in hospitals, including 17 on ventilators, died during the past 24 hours, increasing the nationwide death toll from the disease to 23,087. It added that most of the deaths, 20, occurred in Punjab.
Since the pandemic outbreak, 1,011,708 cases had been detected, the NCOC said, adding that 928,722 people had recovered from the disease so far. A total of 15,766,473 corona tests had been conducted so far.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)