KARACHI   -  Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah, keeping in view the worsening situation of COVID-19 in the province, has called for strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in all the institutions, including business, social, religious, educational and others and in case of non-compliance he has ordered strict action against the delinquent. 

“We can’t contain the virus until our people make the SOPs part of their lives, otherwise, I would have no option but to impose restrictions,” This he said while presiding over a meeting of the Task Force on Coronavirus at CM House. The meeting was attended by Minister Information Nasir Shah, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Police Mushtaq Maher, ACS Home Usman Chachar, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary School Education Ahmed Bux Narejo, Secretary Health Kazim Jatoi, Secretary Colleges Bakar Naqvi, Dr Bari, Dr Faisal, representatives of Corps-5, Pakistan Rangers and others. 

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The CM said that the detection rate was on the increase in the province and the situation of the COVID-19 was also worsening on international level, he said and added most of the countries had started imposing lockdowns again. The CM was told that overnight 579 new cases had emerged when 10,330 tests were conducted which constituted 5.6 percent detection rate. At this the chief minister said that 5.6 percent detection rate was high, therefore, he directed the health department to enhance its testing capacity to 15,000 per day. It was pointed out that so far 1,703,818 samples had been tested against which 148,922 cases had been diagnosed, of them 95 percent or 140,233 patients had recovered, including 367 overnight. Mr Shah was told that during the last five days 25,931 tests were conducted in Karachi against which 1,932 cases were detected that constituted 7.45 percent detection which was highest in the province. Similarly, 1,577 tests were conducted in Hyderabad district where 144 new cases emerged that came to 9.13 percent detection. In the rest of the province 22,530 tests were conducted which diagnosed 1.85 percent or 416 cases. The chief minister said that the recovery rate in the province was encouraging but the new spike in the cases was worrisome and needed immediate drastic measures to contain the virus. 

He directed Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani to issue directives to the deputy commissioners to ensure proper and strict implementation of SOPs such as wearing masks, observing social distancing, avoiding hand shake and crowds. Mr Shah directed the deputy commissioners to start checking in all institutions, including educational, religious (mosques, shrines, temples, etc) business centres, shopping malls, factories, super markets, restaurants etc for implementation of the SOPs.