No decision for imposing lockdown yet: Health Minister

HYDERABAD – Sindh Health Minister on Thursday pointed out an upsurge in coronavirus cases in the province.

“It seems the cases are on upward trajectory and thousands cases of Omicron strain of the virus, can be reported in a month or two,” said health minister Azra Pechuho talking to media in the city. She said no decision for imposing lockdown had been taken by the government, adding that if cases were increased and capacity of hospitals was reduced then government would consider for imposing lockdown.

In last 24 hours over 500 cases of the disease have emerged,” the minister said. The provincial minister stressed for compliance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), adding that the cases would further spread if the people avoid to get vaccine shots. “Those fully vaccinated, should get a booster shot of the vaccine, after six months of the second dose,” Pechuho advised. The experts in the country have urged for vaccination to curb the infections and avoid serious disease. The positivity ratio of COVID-19 cases in Karachi has reached beyond nine percent, provincial health department said on Thursday amid concerns over rising cases of Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Provincial Minister for Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on Thursday asserted to achieve 100 percent target of anti-polio campaign in all districts of Hyderabad.

People will have to live with virus by adopting preventive measures, says Dr Azra

This she stated while chairing a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and DHOs of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas Divisions regarding upcoming anti-polio campaigns at Shahbaz Hall, Shahbaz Building Hyderabad today.

Sindh Health Minister directed the DHOs to update micro plan to ensure 100 percent coverage particularly in low performing union councils. She also underlined the need to cover refusal cases and also devise am affective strategy in this regard. She expressed concerns over less coverage in remote areas union councils of District Mirpurkhas, Sujawal, Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Badin and Thatta, and asked concerned officers to make plan to involve folks along with health workers so that 100 percent coverage of the vaccination could be ensured. She said no negligence would be tolerated during the campaign and make all efforts as we wanted to make years 2022 as polio free year. 

Responding to the briefing on the campaign by the concerned DCs of the districts, she said that not a single-child should be left without administering polio drops. She informed that action plan was going to be chalked out wherein incentives would be increased for polio teams while new staff would be recruited in those district where staff-shortage was one of cause of less coverage  and added that the absent staff and health-officers would be dealt with strictly. She directed to deploy polio teams at all railway stations and entry points between cities so that no child could be left without administering polio-drops. She said that local people should also be hired to motivate reluctant parents in far-flung areas where access of the teams was difficult due to security. 

She directed the District Health officers to make profile of each Union-Council so that Failures of campaign operation issues could be addressed. She stressed upon covering Afghan refugees where ever they were settled. The meeting was attended by Health Secretary Sindh Kazim Jatoi, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Qasim Soomro, Commissioner Muhammad Abbas Baloch and Deputy Commissioners and DHOS.

Later talking to media persons Provincial Health Minister informed that 170 cases of Omicron has been reported in Karachi while around 500 Corona cases are being reported daily.

She said that genomics could not be performed on all people with corona coming from abroad. She said that with the increase in the number of Corona cases, it seemed that Omicron cases were increasing while the lockdown would be decided according to the condition and capacity of the hospital.  She said that vaccination was being done in schools and added that it was important for children to wear masks in schools which would help in controlling the increase in the number of cases.  She said that concerned officers had been directed to update the micro plan and focus on refusal cases of the cases.


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