KARACHI                  -               Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has ordered the closure of all shrines, marriage halls and cinemas in the province while academic activities at semi­naries and technical institutions would also remain suspended till April 5 due to the fear of corona­virus. He was presiding over two different meetings of the Task­force on Coronavirus and Provin­cial Disaster Management Author­ity (PDMA) here at the CM House on Saturday.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Health Dr Azra Pe­chuho, Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Advi­sor to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Sindh IGP Mushtaq Maher, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, Dr Faisal of Aga Khan, representatives of WHO and others.

The chief minister said that since coronavirus had become a pandemic, therefore his govern­ment had no other option but to take drastic measures to control the situation and save the lives of our people.

“It is high time that cinemas, marriage halls/lawns and shrines were closed,” the CM said, and added, “Even we can’t allow mar­riage functions at clubs. People can hold marriage functions at a limited level at their homes.”

Murad, on the occasion, di­rected the chief secretary to notify a ban on holding such gatherings in the province. “I am sure people of this province will join me in my efforts to contain the coronavirus,” the chief minister said, and added, “As and when situation improves, we would reverse our decisions of banning social and religious gatherings.”

COMMISSIONER SUKKUR BRIEFS

Commissioner Sukkur told the meeting that 293 pilgrims in seven buses had reached Sukkur, all of whom had been taken to isola­tion centers where their medical checkup and other tests were be­ing conducted.

The chief minister directed the commissioner to collect samples of all the 293 pilgrims and send these to Karachi for the tests.

Since, there are no testing fa­cilities at Sukkur, therefore the CM ordered that his own heli­copter be sent to Sukkur to air­lift the samples of 293 pilgrims, who had reached there from Taftan. These samples would be tested at Aga Khan, Indus and Ojha hospitals.

The chief minister also directed the Sukkur commissioner to note down the addresses of all the pil­grims apart from other data rel­evant to them.

He also directed the commis­sioner to install TV sets in the iso­lation centers housing the pilgrims so that they did not feel isolated.

Murad told the commissioner that since another batch of 648 pilgrims was ready to leave Taftan for Sukkur, therefore their accom­modation arrangements be made accordingly.

Murad also requested the World Health Organisation (WHO) to send their experts along with the experts of Aga Khan and Indus hospitals to Sukkur to inspect the facili­ties. “I am sparing my jet and it would fly you back to Karachi in a day,” the chief minister told the WHO representatives and others.