KARACHI  - Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah said here on Sunday that the month of May proved to be worst in terms of detection of new coronavirus cases, resultant deaths and the plane crash tragedy.

In a statement issued from the CM House, the chief minister said that 4,100 tests were conducted in the province during the last 24 hours which led to the detection of 885 new cases “This means our detection rate stands at 21.6 percent which is higher than that of several other countries,” he said, and added, “So far we have conducted 180,803 tests which have helped us identify 28,245 cases which constitute 15.6 percent of the total number of tests conducted.”

The CM said that first death from the Covid-19 was reported on March 19. “In all, the pandemic claimed nine lives in March, 109 in April while May has proved to be the worst since 363 people lost battle against the virus in this month,” Murad said, and added, “In this way, the disease has claimed 481 valuable lives so far, including 16 today (Sunday).

He added that apart from coronavirus, the nation had lost 97 lives in a plane crash on May 22. “Hence, we have lost 515 lives in May alone,” the chief minister said, and prayed to The Almighty Allah for salvation of the departed souls and granting patience to the bereaved families.

Talking about deaths from the virus, Syed Murad Ali Shah said 16 more people had died during the last 24 hours, lifting the death toll to 481. Hence the mortality rate stands at 1.7 percent. “Presently, 334 Covid-19 patients or 31 percent of the total number of patients are in a critical condition, of whom 62 are on ventilators,” the CM informed.

He further said that of 13,954 patients who were currently under treatment, 12,773 were in isolation at their homes, 108 were at isolation centres while 1,073 at different hospitals.

The CM said that 553 more people were cured during the last 24 hours, and had returned to their homes. “I am glad to disclose that 13,810 patients or 49 percent of the total number of patients have recovered and are leading a normal life now,” he said.

Giving district-wise figures of the provincial capital, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that out of 885 new cases reported in Sindh, 617 were reported from Karachi alone. “These include 184 from East, 146 from South, 127 from Central, 27 from Korangi, 46 from Malir and 41 from West,” he elaborated.

He said Sukkur had 37 cases, Khairpur 34, Ghotki 27, Hyderabad 25, Larkana 24, Jacobabad 24, Shikarpur 16, eight cases each in Jamshoro and Sanghar, Mirpurkhas five, three each in Kambar and Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad two, and one each in Matiari, Dadu, Tando Allahyar and Tando Mohammad Khan.

The chief minister said that local transmission of the disease was also increasing in rural areas. “The threat of local transmission is quite horrifying and we have to contain it by observing social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding social gathering,” he said.

According to the CM Sindh, 34 flights; right from April 18 to May 28, brought 6378 stranded Pakistanis back to Karachi, of whom 1,208 were infected. “We took proper care of the stranded Pakistanis and kept them in isolation and started discharging those who recovered,” he said.

Sharing the data of the lives lost in plane crash in Karachi, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that out 97 bodies, 75 had been identified and handed over to their heirs. “Now, eight bodies are in the mortuary of Chippa and 14 at Edhi,” he informed.

He said that the process of matching the DNAs was in progress and the bodies, after their identification, were being handed over to their families.