KARACHI            -              Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah directed

the health department

on Saturday to recruit 1,500 doctors and 500 paramedics within the next three days.Chairing the 24th meeting

of the Taskforce on Coronavirus here at the CM House, he said, “We are in dire need of doctors, nurses

and the paramedical staff to operate the newly established hospitals,” he stressed.The meeting was attended

by provincial ministers, adviser to the CM on law, chief secretary, IGP Sindh, provincial secretaries, representatives of Corps 5, Rangers, WHO, FIA, Airport,

civil aviation and others.

The chief minister was further informed that a 220-bed hospital had become

operational in Kharadar,

which had seven ventilators

and 23 ICU/CCU.It was pointed out that 2,366 nurses were being hired within the next two days, of whom 300 would be posted at the Expo Center

and 690 in other 23 districts.

The CM was further told that the tally of coronavirus

cases in Sindh had risen to 359. Secretary health told the chief minister that the number of coronavirus cases in Sindh had reached 359. “These include 60 cases

of those who contracted

the disease from local sources, which is a cause of concern,” he said, and added, “These are 102 in Karachi/Hyderabad, 105 in Sukkur phase-I and 104 in Sukkur phase-II. The health department has conducted 2,209 tests, of which 1,852 have been declared negative

and 359 positive.” The chief minister said that transmission of the virus

in the province was on the increase. Giving examples, he said the first case was reported on February 2, 2020, 10 cases on March 9, while 25 cases on March 19. “This is serious, and “We will have to isolate ourselves voluntarily,

which is the only way out to keep ourselves secure,” he said. As per the daily report of suspected Covid-19 patients, presented at the meeting, 1,874 such cases were identified by the government-run hospitals,

out of which 21 were found to be fit for the tests. The private hospitals

reported 702 cases, out of which five were selected

for the tests. To a question, the airport authorities told the chief minister that there were 29 flights scheduled for today (Saturday), but 12 were cancelled. Around 3,428 passengers

reached the city on board these 17 flights, all of whom were screened, while eight of them were declared suspected patients.

Therefore, they were shifted to quarantine unit and their samples were sent for the tests, the CM was told. MURAD VISITS THE EXPO CENTERMeanwhile, the chief minister visited the Expo Center on Saturday and reviewed the overall arrangements

made there for isolation centers and a field hospital.The chief minister was briefed about the arrangements

and requirements. The chief minister directed

the commissioner to purchase the machinery to destroy solid waste of the patients at the Expo Center. “The solid waste may not be transported anywhere in the city and it must be destroyed there,” the CM said. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had released Rs11.628 billion

as regular and special grants for the government efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the province

during the current financial

year. “This includes Rs3 billion

contributed by the government employees to the government fund,” he elaborated.Murad further explained that Rs300 million had been given to the Indus Hospital, Rs100 million to the Directorate of Health, Rs50 million to the health department, Rs835.9 million

to private partners, Rs6.9 billion as a special grant for coronavirus patients,

Rs50 million to DC Malir, Rs76 million to DC Sukkur, Rs50 million to DC Larkana and Rs250 million

expected in future, Murad said that a 100-bed field hospital would be housed at the Expo Center, which would be later upgraded to 10,000-bed hospital. “Other expenditures are expected to be incurred on developing accommodation

facilities for the doctors

and other staff being deputed at the Expo Center,”

the chief minister told the meeting.The chief minister said that 10 hotels may be hired by the commissioner for quarantine. “The expenditures

will also be incurred on hiring 6,000 rooms of Labour Square at Northern Bypass,” he added. Murad disclosed that at present there were 827 ventilators with the health department, which, he said, he was going to increase

to 5,000. “We are also making a plan to support

unemployed, daily wagers/labourers through organisations like Edhi/Saylani Welfare Trust,” he informed. The chief minister once again urged the people of Sindh to stay at their homes to save themselves,