KARACHI         -              Following the confirmation of yet another coronavirus case in the city on Saturday, the patient has been shifted to a hospital and his family members have also been confined to their home.

This was disclosed at the meeting of Taskforce on Coronavirus held here at the CM House under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Minister for Health, Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister for Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, COS 5 Corps Brigadier Abdul Sami, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, Dr Bari of Indus Hospital, PDMA DG Salman Shah, DIG South Sharjeel Kharal, Dr Sara of WHO, Haris Mustafa, focal person of WHO, Colonel Nasir Zeeshan of 5 Corps, Professor Dr Abdul Bari of Indus Hospital, Imran Ahmed, Director Airport Services, and Dr Khurram, Chief Medical Officer at CAA.

The chief minister, who is reviewing the progress made on combating the coronavirus in the province on the third consecutive day, was told that one more case had been reported from Karachi.

He was told the patient, who had returned from Iran on February 20, was living with his four family members. The patient had flue like symptoms and was kept in isolation for 10 days. During the period of isolation, the patient was tested positive, the CM was informed.

Murad was further informed that the patient, 65, had been shifted to a hospital, while his four family members were asked to stay indoors for further medical investigation.

The chief minister directed the health department to also contact other relatives of the patient who might have met him on his return from Iran. “We will have to be more alert and proactive if we are to stop the spread of the disease,” he said, and added, “We have been meeting regularly ever since the first case was reported, therefore our strategy must be result-oriented.”

To a question, the chief minister was told that out of 41 samples of the suspected patients the health department had obtained for tests, results of 38 had been received, out of which two had been found positive and 36 negative. The results of three tests were being awaited, Murad was informed.

It may be noted here that out of 1,421 people who had gone to Iran, 1,419 have been traced, of whom 932 are still in Iran while 481 have returned.

The chief minister directed the health department, security personnel deputed at Karachi airport, FIA, CAA and divisional commissioners to keep an eye on each and every individual returning to Sindh either by air, rail or land route, particularly via Balochistan, so that necessary precautionary measures could be taken.

The chief minister also directed the Airport Service director to provide to him an updated list of the Pakistanis who had gone to Iran and had or had not returned.

He asked the Karachi commissioner to coordinate with the Iranian consulate in the city to seek exact figures of the visas the consulate had issued to Pakistanis for Iran. “This will help us gather accurate data of the passengers who had travelled to Iran and came back,” he said.

Murad directed the chief secretary to request the Balochistan government to test the pilgrims returning from Iran at Taftan border and then allow them to go to their respective provinces.

The chief minister asked Dr Bari of the Indus Hospital to purchase testing kits for the coronavirus, saying he would pay him the money for the purpose.

He also directed the health department to compile a detailed list of the hospitals in the city with coronavirus testing facilities so that these could be contacted for tests without wasting any time.

Murad also ordered the Indus Hospital to purchase 25 ventilators at the cost of Rs50 million so that the patients’ lives could be saved.

The meeting was told that the last flight from Iran had landed in Karachi on February 27, and after that no flight had arrived.

The fourth meeting of the Taskforce will be held today (on Sunday) at 7 pm, concluded the chief minister.