KARACHI          -              Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah has urged people of the province to isolate themselves voluntarily for the next three days so that everyone could keep himself or herself safe and secure from the Covid-19.

“Offices, hotels and sports gyms will remain completely closed during the next three days, therefore there is no need to come out onto the roads and move here and there,” Murad directed the people.

He was presiding over 23rd meeting of the Taskforce on Coronavirus here at the CM House on Friday.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Shah, Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IGP Sindh Mushtaq Maher, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Home Usman Chachar, Brigadier Sami of Corps 5, representatives of WHO, Civil Aviation, Airport, VC Dow University Professor Saed Qureshi, Professor Dr Bari, Professor Dr Faisal, Focal Person MB Dharejo and other concerned officials.

Murad said that the people of Pakistan were fighting against COVID-19 bravely. “Time has come to demonstrate a responsible attitude by voluntarily distancing ourselves from social gatherings, and it is possible when we all will prefer to remain at our homes,” the CM said.

He said that he was surprised that some people remained busy hosting receptions and family gatherings at their homes during these holidays.

“This is not a time for a get together, but it is for social distancing,” he said.

Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi briefing the chief minister said that 2,017 samples had been taken from Sukkur (Sukkur-I & II batches) and Larkana, out of which 1,294 had been tested negative while 238 as positive. “The results of 402 of Sukkur-II and 83 of Larkana are pending,” he explained.

He further said that 1,230 samples were tested in Karachi /other districts, of which 98 had been tested positive.

He said that the second batch of 402 pilgrims had returned from Taftan and had been kept in quarantine at Sukkur, while 83 pilgrims, who had also returned from Iran, are being kept in isolation at Larkana.

The chief minister said that the number of people contracting disease from local sources had reached 51, and this was worrisome for me and everyone who understood the situation.

The commissioner told the chief minister that 22 pilgrims, who were going to Iran, dropped their plan due to COVID-19’s fear.

He added that all the 22 pilgrims had returned via Lasbela and the DC West had received them.

The chief minister directed him to get all these 22 people screened, and send them home if they all were declared okay. 

The CM was briefed about the establishing of Quarantine Center and a Field Hospital at Expo Center in the provincial capital.

The chief minister directed him to make necessary arrangements for toilets and the resting place for the staff at the Expo Center.

He allowed necessary procurement of equipments, medicines, masks, and such other items hall-wise.

Murad was informed that the public sector hospitals, in their daily report, had identified 1,874 suspects, of whom 21 were found to be tested. And that the private hospitals had given a list of 702 suspected patients, of whom five had been tested.

The chief minister was told that 31 flights were scheduled for today (Friday), but 15 of them were cancelled.

The 16 flights brought 3,710 passengers, of whom four were deemed as suspected virus patients and had been kept in quarantine while their samples had been sent for the tests, the chief minister was told.