SUKKUR                  -              Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Forests and Religious Affairs Syed Nasir Hussain Shah presided over a high-level meeting here on Monday to review the facilities being provided to the pilgrims from Taftan, currently in quarantine in Sukkur.

According to details, Commissioner Sukkur division Shafiq Ahmed Mahaisar told the meeting that all facilities were being provided to the pilgrims, which included three time meals, treatment facilities and also entertainment as television sets and cable connections had been provided to them.

The commissioner requested the minister to arrange fully trained medical staff since looking after the patients in quarantine was the job of the health department.

He said that the first batch of pilgrims had arrived here from Iran, and in order to host the second batch expected in couple of days, there would be a need for more trained medical staff.

Commissioner Sukkur also demanded the provision of protective kits for the medical and paramedical staff looking after those in the Quarantine.

A special team of doctors told the meeting that the coronavirus affected the person who is within three feet of the patient, and it did not spread through the air.

They advised people to use tissue papers during coughing and hands washing. They said that there was no need of using protective masks by everybody, but it was essential to wear if somebody was to go nearer to the patients. Director General Health Services told that the ventilators had been sent for the patients who were in very incentive care.

Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, while addressing the meeting and later while talking to the media, said that the doctors and the medical staff who would not perform their duties during the national emergency would be sent home and stern action would be taken against them.

He said that the Sindh Chief Minister and others had also appreciated the performance of Quarantine team at Sukkur, adding that everybody from the community, including the civil society, would together have to play their role.

The minister said that after the confirmation of coronavirus in large numbers of pilgrims on their arrival at Sukkur from Taftan; they would be kept in quarantine for fourteen days so that their screening and tests could be carried out.

He said that a trained staff, comprising sixty members, had been deployed at Karachi airport for screening of those people coming from foreign countries.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah further said that the Sindh Government was trying its best to protect the people from the virus despite its limited resources.

He further said that 10,000 kits were available for the screening of suspected corona patients while more kits had been imported.

The minister said that although there was no shortage of funds right now, but still in case of any need, the commissioner Sukkur may spent from anywhere.

The minister said that the Sindh government had set up a large isolation ward in Karachi which had the capacity of accommodating four thousand people, adding that similarly isolation wards had also been set up in Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Larkana, Gambat and other areas.

Nasir, on the occasion, issued directives for the provision of list of newly completed buildings in Sukkur division so that special corona wards could be established there, in case of any emergency.

He said it had been decided by the provincial government to take action against those involved in hoarding the masks.

The minister called upon the ulemas to convince the pilgrims coming from Iran for their checkup and further treatment so that nobody could return to his or her home without the screening.

The provincial minister on the occasion announced that the special planes would be sent Iran for the return of disabled pilgrims and such expense would bear by the Sindh Government.

He warned of taking action under cyber crimes against those doing wrong propaganda on the media.

The Secretary Health Sindh, Zahid Abbasi, Director General Health Services Sindh Dr. Mobeen Memon, Commissioner Sukkur Division Shafiq Ahmed Mahaisar, DIG Sukkur Fida Hussain Mastoi, expert Doctors of the Special Health Team of Sindh Govt., Mayor Sukkur Barrister Arsalan Islam Shaikh, Deputy Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police and District Health Officers of Sukkur, Ghotki and Khairpur districts and concerned officials besides renowned Shia Ulema including Moulana Syed Shehenshah Hussain Naqvi, Moulana Shah Alam Musvi and Moulana Ali Bux Sajjadi attended the meeting.

Later, the minister visited the special centre established in Labour Colony Sukkur along with the Special Health Team, administrative officers and the ulemas where he also addressed the pilgrims and assured them the Sindh Government would not leave them alone and they would be provided all facilities.

The minister said that the pilgrims came from Iran have been kept in the special centre here in order to protect health of their family members. He said that all those pilgrims would be sent their homes after fourteen days whom test report would be negative.

On this occasion, Dr. Abdul Bari and Dr Sunel gave awareness to all the pilgrims for taking precautionary measures in eating and drinks while the steps taken by health department for their healthcare.