KARACHI          -             Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday has directed health department to start random testing of people at grocery shops, vegetable shops so that local spread could be checked and contained accordingly.

In a video message released from the Chief Minister House, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that cases of local spread were increasing equally in urban and rural areas. He added that a villager who recently visited Hyderabad and got himself infected there. When he returned to his village he infected others, he said and added, “we checked his 30 relatives/connections, of them nine were infected by him,” he deplored and added that was why he had decided to start random testing at grocery shops, vegetable shops and such other places where people go off and on.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that random checking at grocery shops was aimed at checking the local spread and then took a new strategy to contain the virus further. “I have issued the directive and hoped that the people will cooperate with the field staff of our labs,” he said.

The Sindh Chief Minister while sharing the situation report of coronavirus, said that 3671 samples were tested as a result 451 new cases emerged while nine more people lost their lives while struggling against the infection. He said that 3671 tests were conducted between May 5 and May 6 out of which govt found 451 new cases.

The number of tests conducted so far come to 72,544 against which 8640 cases were diagnosed. “451 cases against 3671 tests constituted 12.3 percent positive rate,” he said and added the ratio was high and alarming.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that nine patients succumbed to the virus infection taking the death toll to 157 which was 1.8 percent of the total patients. “Yes, we have a good news also that 60 more patients have been cured and discharged and now the number of patients who defeated the virus and recovered has reached to 1731 which is 20 percent,” he said.

The Chief Minister sharing the data of 6752 patients under treatment said that 5528 or 82 percent of the patients were in home isolation, 721 or 10 percent were at Isolation centers and 503 were at different hospitals. He added that 89 patients were in critical condition, of the 14 were on ventilators. He prayed for their early recovery.

He said that out of 451 new cases, 327 cases belong to Karachi and they included district Central 68, East 74, Korangi 25, Malir 26, South 87 and West 47 while over 6084 cases existed in the city. He added that 24 new cases had been diagnosed in Shikarpur, 19 in Sukkur, seven in Larkana, five in Hyderabad, four in Sujawal, three in Ghoti, two in Sanghar, one each in Matiari, Mirpurkhas and Dadu. Syed Murad Ali Shah said that different flights had brought back 2369 stranded Pakistanis and all of them were tested. As a result, 515 of them were positive which was 22 percent. He said that the patients were being taken care of properly.

The Chief Minister reiterated the people of the province to follow the SOPs and observe social distancing.

NCOCC meeting: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah through video link from CM House participated NCOC meeting organized by Federal Minister Asad Omar in Islamabad. The meeting discussed the matters pertaining to lockdown particularly the post May 9 measures. The meeting was also attended by the Chief Ministers and ministers of other provinces, including of Gilgit Baltistan.

The meeting also discussed operation timing of business activities and their SOPs. The discussion was also held on allowing agreed business activities before or after Iftar.

Finally, it was decided that the federal minister Asad Umar would firm up the suggestions and the final decision would be taken by the prime minister.

Every COVID-19 positive case to be isolated at home or isolation centre

The Sindh Health Department on Wednesday announced that every COVID-19 positive case shall be at his / her liberty to be isolated either at home or isolation centre.

In an advisory issued on Wednesday, the Sindh Health department said that none shall be forcefully shifted to Isolation Center, if proper space was available at his / her residence and the patient or the family members agreed to his /her home Isolation.

COVID-I9 positive patient is bound to strictly observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) explained by the Health Care Providers for home isolation.

In case of any violation that exposes community to the infection, then the patient shall be shifted to Isolation Centre.

The advisory said that it had been noted that the patient declared COVID-19 positive were being forcefully shifted either to hospitals or field isolation centers. Therefore, looking into inconvenience of the patient and their relatives, the advisory was issued to be observed by Health Care Providers and law enforcement agencies.