KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Thursday that 14 deaths had been reported from the province within 24 hours, taking the death toll to 171.

“Although the deaths in terms of total number of patients is only 1.9 percent, still we are losing precious lives, and we can control it if only we all observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in true letter and spirit,” he said in a statement issued from the Chief Minister’s House.

Murad said that the first case of coronavirus was reported on February 26, and the first death occurred on March 19, 2020.

“Today, on the 72nd day of the pandemic, we have 9,093 cases in Sindh and from March 19 to May 7 means within 49 days coronavirus has claimed 171 lives. “This is the situation I want to share with each and every individual living in the province so that they can assess where we are heading and how we have to reshape our lives during the ongoing crisis,” he said.

The chief minister said that when 3,534 tests were conducted during the last one day, 453 new cases were detected. “The tests conducted so far come to 76,078 against which 9093 cases have been detected,” the CM said.

He said that out of 453 fresh cases, 335 belonged to Karachi, including 91 from District Central, 81 South, 69 East, 33 Korangi, 33 Malir and 28 West. “We are increasing the number of random tests at grocery and vegetable shops, and this will help us pinpoint more cases of local spread,” the CM hoped. Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Larkana had 35 cases, Khairpur 16, Sukkur 12, Hyderabad nine, Kashmore eight and Sanghar three cases.

The chief minister said that majority of cases in Larkana, Khairpur and Sukkur were of local transmission. “This is a serious situation, and everyone has to understand the sensitivity of the issue, otherwise we won’t be able to control it,” he warned.

The chief minister said that at present 7069 patients were under treatment, including 5,858 in isolation at their homes, 683 at isolation centres and 528 admitted at hospitals. He added that 87 patients were in critical condition, of whom 14 were on ventilators.

Disclosing the data of the flights he said that so far 2369 stranded Pakistanis had returned to their homes, adding they all were tested, as a result 515 of them tested positive for the virus. “And they all are under treatment,” he added.  The chief minister said that his government has developed 17 facilities with 4688 beds purely allocated for COVID-19 patients against which 1224 patients have been admitted.   The chief minister urged people of Sindh to be cautious and save themselves and their near and dear ones from the virus.