KARACHI       -           The health department sent samples of 12 suspected coronavirus patients for the lab test during the last two days (Sunday and Monday), out of which 11 have been declared negative while the result of one sample is awaited.

Samples of eight coronavirus suspects were sent for the lab test on Sunday and the results of all the eight samples have come negative.

Four more samples were sent for the lab test on Monday, of which three have come negative while the result of the fourth one is still awaited.

This was disclosed at the meeting of the Taskforce on coronavirus held here at the CM House on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Minister for Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Advisor to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Secretary Home Usman Chahchar, Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, PDMA DG Salman Shah, Colonel Shabbir Khan of Rangers,  Lt Colonel Kashif Bukhar of 5 Corps, focal person coronavirus programme MB Dharejo, Dr Sara Salman of WHO, DD FIA Abdul Rauf, DIG South Sharjeel Kharal and others.

It was also disclosed that 2,301 pilgrims had returned to Sindh from Iran, including 681 via Karachi and 1,620 via Taftan, Balochistan, and that the health department had obtained their complete details and their condition was being monitored.

The chief secretary told the chief minister that he had contacted his counterpart in Balochistan for sharing details of the pilgrims coming back from Iran via Taftan. “The Balochistan government has directed their home department to coordinate with the home department of Sindh,” he said, and added that both the departments would keep sharing details of the pilgrims kept in quarantine at Taftan and then allowed to move to Sindh and others provinces.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to request the Balochsitan government to hand over a certificate of health clearance to each and every person being released from quarantine.

When it was pointed out at the meeting that owners of some of the educational institutions had opened their institutions on Monday, in defiance of the government orders, the chief minister directed the commissioner Karachi and Additional IG Karachi to take action them and report to him.

The chief minister said that the timely efforts being taken by his government had started producing positive results.

He thanked the health department, airport authorities, civil aviation authority, FIA, Pakistan Rangers and Corps Headquarters, Sindh Police and other departments for their coordinated and untiring efforts.

Karachi commissioner told the chief minister that during the last five days, 87 people had approached the control room built at the Commissioner’s House.

“The callers were given necessary counseling, but none of them had a travel history to Iran or China,” Shallwani said, and added, that  not only people from the city and other divisions of the province were seeking guidance from his control room, but people from other provinces were also calling there as well. 

The chief minister was told that hand wash, sanitizers, essential food commodities had also been provided to the quarantined families. They had also been provided medicines procured from hospitals and philanthropists.