KARACHI           -             One more case of coronavirus has been reported from the city, taking the total number of people suffering from the disease in the province to three.

This was disclosed at the meeting of the Taskforce on Coronavirus held here at the CM House on Thursday, with Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah in the chair.

The chief minister said that despite the fact that he was making all-out efforts to contain spread of the disease, unfortunately third case had emerged in the province.

He directed the health department to not only isolate family members of the new patient, but also trace all those with whom he came into close contact recently.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister for Local Government Nasir Shah, Adviser to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Sindh IGP Mushtaq Maher, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Additional IG Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, PDMA DG Salman Shah, Dr Faisal of Aga Khan Hospital, representatives of Rangers, Corps -5, Civil Aviation, Airport and FIA.

The chief minister was told that samples of six suspected patients of coronavirus were sent for the lab test, out of which one had been tested positive while another one negative, while the results of four samples were awaited.

He was informed that the fresh case had been reported from District East of the city, and that he was 69 years old man. The chief minister was further told that the man had visited Iran recently.

The chief minister was informed that so far tests of 251 coronavirus suspects had been conducted all over Pakistan, including 59 in Islamabad, 75 in Punjab, 68 in Sindh, 24 in KP, eight in Balochistan, three in AJK and 14 in Gilgit Baltistan.

It was disclosed that out of 251 suspected cases, tests of only six had come positive, out of which two were in Balochistan, three in Sindh and one in Gilgit Baltistan.

The meeting was told that the total number of pilgrims who had visited Iran recently stood at 2,355, of whom, 1,748 had completed 14 days quarantine period and had no symptoms of the virus, while 497 were in quarantine at their homes and 110 were still untraceable.

The chief minister directed the secretary health to share the CNIC numbers of the pilgrims with NADRA so that they could be traced.

Later, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah joined the meeting on coronavirus from Islamabad via a video link. The meeting was chaired by Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

The chief minister, on the occasion, said that he had been chairing meetings on a daily basis since the first case of the disease was reported in Sindh.

He said that the pilgrims who had returned to Sindh have been traced through district committees headed by deputy commissioners. “We have tried to contain spread of the coronavirus through Public Private Partnership with Indus Hospital,” Murad said, and added, “A renowned doctor of Aga Khan Hospital Dr Faisal is also on board with the Sindh government.”

The chief minister requested the federal government to share with him province-wise detail of the pilgrims who had been put in quarantine at Taftan and Chaman borders so that his government could take necessary measures.

The chief minister also pointed out that in Balochistan the pilgrims returning from Iran were being kept in quarantine only for five days. He suggested that they must be kept for 14 days as recommended by the experts/doctors.

On the occasion, Sindh chief minister also offered Balochistan government his support whenever required for the quarantine of pilgrims, testing of suspected patients and the provision of necessary equipment.