Karachi - Sindh Minister for Health Azra Fazal Pechuhu on Thursday said that coronavirus situation in the province was getting worse and now cases would pop up from every household.

Addressing the provincial lawmakers during Sindh Assembly session summoned on opposition requisition on Covid-19 issue, Pechuhu said that they would face a shortage of beds and ventilators and situation could turn to worse where patients could not be able to acquire a bed for them in the hospital.

The proceedings took ugly turn when the Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani gave floor to the health minister to give policy statement after the house carried a motion moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukeah for holding discussion on the fatal virus.

Pechuhu started her speech in English and was interrupted by Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of Grand Democratic Alliance who asked the health minister to make her speech either in Urdu or Sindhi ‘so that the people of the province could understand what she is saying.’ During the heated exchange of words Pechuhu called Nusrat a ‘Stupid Woman’ however remarks were later expunged by the Speaker.

After resuming the speech, the health minister came down hard on the federal government and lamented that the country neither had a leadership nor a policy to deal with the pandemic. She said that the Sindh government called for strict lockdown from the day one to deal with the pandemic.

“Here the prime minister sits with 50 people in a meeting without a mask. What message is he trying to convey?” she asked while pinpointing that a report has pointed out 700,000 coronavirus patients in Lahore.

Pechuhu further asked as to how they could fight without weapons in their hands. “These people want death toll to be in millions,” she said without mentioning anyone and asked as what good would be the economy when people die of the virus.

“We have tracked passengers coming from abroad in Sindh from December and tested and isolated themselves to avoid rising COVID-19 tally,” she said. Pechuhu said that the province had also initiated a project to train doctors and paramedics to deal with the virus.

“We have strengthened our laboratories by bringing in more PCR machines,” she said adding that currently 19 laboratories were involved in COVID-19 testing process in the province.

Speaking on the occasion, Rabia Azfar Nizami of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said that educational institutions could not be closed for indefinite period and the policy should be formed to open schools and other institutions with Standard Operating Procedures. She said that 30 percent of school going children were registered in private schools whereas 60 percent went government schools, fearing that gap between poor and rich would further increase as everyone could not afford online classes. “The ratio of child marriages, child abuse and child labour would be increased if educational institutions were not opened,” she added.

The GDA’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi in her speech said that the PPP had given nothing to the people of Sindh during its regime. “If the medical facilities in Sindh are so good, why the former President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP MNAs and MPAs are getting treatment at private hospitals,” he added.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan’s Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that Pakistan could not be compared with Europe as people had different dynamics. He was of the view that initially, Sindh government had taken ‘impressive’ decisions but later failed to cope with the issue. “The provincial government claimed to provide ration of worth 1.25 billion to the people but the amount was deducted from salaries of government employees and funds for local bodies,” he added.

Younus Soomro of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan said that Sindh Government claimed to provide rations to two million families but it was not visible on ground.

Dr Imran Ali Shah of PTI said that mobile testing units should be established and a hospital be designated for Covid-19 patients at each district. He said tests were conducted for specific time a day, demanding that test should be conducted 24 hours. Dr Shah said that 250 doctors at Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi who performed their duties in different shifts had no separate accommodation and went back to their homes after treating the Covid-19 patients.

The MQM-P’s Rashid Khilji and Mangla Sharma; PTI’s Haleem Adil Sheikh, Dr Seema Zia; GDA’s Shaheryar Khan Mahar, Abdul Razzaque Rahimoon; and PPP’s Sharjeel Inam Memon, Heer Soho, Syeda Shehla Raza, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Ghanwer Ali Khan Isran, Shamim Mumtaz, Syed Zulfikar Shah PPP, Shabbir Bijarani and Abdul Bari Pitafi also spoke on the occasion before the house was adjourned till Friday (today) at 11am.