HYDERABAD              -              Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Wednesday said that an amount of Rs 19.5 billion has been distributed in the first phase of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme among poor and deserving people of the province while the second phase of the programme would start soon.

The governor stated this while talking to media during his visit to Matiari where he reviewed the process of cash disbursement among poor and deserving people under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme and attended briefing of the district administration.

Ehsaas Programme is the part of relief package of Rs 1200 billion announced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, the governor said and maintained that cash amount was being distributed among the poor and deserving persons above any politics. Later, the governor accompanied by MPAs Haleem Adil Shaikh, Jamal Siddiqui, Sidra Imran, Bilal Ghaffar and his advisor Umaid Ali Junejo visited Ehsaas Cash Centre at Government Polytechnic Institute and reviewed the arrangements.

Talking to beneficiaries of the programme, Imran Ismail said that Ehsaas Programme had been initiated on the directives of the Prime Minister with objectives to compensate the poor and deserving persons who were financially being affected during prevailing lockdown due to COVID-19. He advised the beneficiaries to maintain discipline and all precautions including social distancing while receiving cash from the centre.

Earlier, the Deputy Commissioner Matiari while briefing the Governor Sindh about the pace of cash distribution among the poor and deserving persons informed that a total of 15 Ehsaas Cash Distribution centres had been set up in Matiari, Hala and Saeedabad talukas for 78,397 registered beneficiaries of the district. Out of 78,397 beneficiaries, the cash had been distributed so far among 40,735 persons through all 15 Ehsaas Cash Centres, he added.

Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Wednesday said federal and all provincial governments were jointly fighting against COVID-19 outbreak as the global pandemic was not a matter of one party or the specific province. Addressing a meeting of district administration here at Shehbaz Hall and a press conference at the residence of local leader of PTI Mohsin Ghumman, the Governor said Prime Minister Imran Khan was against complete lockdown because majority of people belonging to marginalized section of society could suffer a lot due to it. Federal Government and religious scholars have agreed upon opening masajid during month of Ramadan and Ulema would be responsible for adopting all precautionary measures as advised by health experts and the government to contain coronaivrus from spreading further, Sindh Governor said. He warned that if Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were not implemented, Masajid could be closed to save people from being affected with COVID-19.

The Deputy Commissioner Fuad Ghaffar Soomro, while briefed the Governor about arrangements made by the district administration to face coronavirus pandemic in the district, said that 1036 people have been tested for corona of them 201 patients tested positive out of which 136 had been recovered and discharged from hospitals while three patients had lost their lives. The Deputy Commissioner informed that initially 394 members of Tableeghi Jamaat had been quarantined at different centres established in the district, adding that 63 active cases were still under treatment in isolation wards of different hospitals.

Soomro informed that 38 local transmission cases had been detected in the district while 370 people who had remained in touch with these positive patients had so for been identified.

Out of 370 people 227 had been tested for COVID-19 and of them 17 were tested positive and 210 were negative while tests of 43 people would soon be conducted, DC added. The Governor was informed that doctors, paramedical staff and nurses had been provided all protective equipment including masks, hand gloves and sanitizers.

The DC informed that 256 flats of Labour Department, 70 rooms of Rajputana hospital and 30 rooms of Memon hospital had already been converted into Quarantine centres while 124-bed isolation ward at Sindh Government Hospital Kohsar at Latifabad, 220-bed ward at ISRA Hospital, 140-bed ward at Liaquat University Hospital Hyderabad and 154-bed isolation ward at Hyderabad Club had been established to accommodate COVID-19 patients in the district. There were 36 ventilators in different hospitals of Hyderabad city, Deputy Commissioner said and informed that 24 Ehsaas Kafalat Cash Distribution centres had been established in the district for transferring of cash amount to the registered persons under federal Government’s Ehsaas Kafalat Emegency Cash Program.

The Director General Ehsaas Kafalat Programme, Abdul Rahim Shaikh briefed the Governor about cash distribution process under Ehsaas Kafalat programme and said out of 125047 registered persons cash amount of Rs. 12000 each had been distributed among 50465 people.

He said with the help of district administration, Police and the Rangers cash distribution process was in progress in efficient manner.

Regarding distribution of ration among poor people, the Deputy Commissioner informed that ration had been distributed among 19449 people in the district till now.

He said apart from government, welfare organizations such as Inam Foundation had distributed ration among 4800 needy families while testing kits and protective equipment including 600 protective suits and 500 protective goggles had also been provided to Health department.

The Deputy Commissioner informed the Governor that in case of increasing number of COVID-19 patients, the district administration would establish isolation wards and quarantine centres at Forest Department office, PPHI Complex, Indus Hotel, Crown Hotel, City gate hotel, Sports hostel and the Doctor’s hostel.

Ghaffar Soomro said in different areas of the district anti mosquito and disinfectant spray was being carried out to provide clean and healthy environment to the citizens.

Governor Imran Ismail expressed satisfaction over the performance of district administration and said with coordinated efforts we would overcome this dangerous pandemic.

Meanwhile, Governor Sindh visited Ehsaas Emergency Cash Distribution Centre at Govt Girls Degree College Qasimabad and reviewed cash distribution process and arrangements made for facilitation of poor and deserving persons there.

Earlier, Governor Imran Ismail visited residence of MPA Jam Khan Shoro and offered condolence on the demise of Shoro’s father and prayed for the departed soul.

PTI’ parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh, Jamal Siddiqui, Sidra Imran, Bilal Ghafar and Advisor to Governor Umeed Ali Junejo were also accompanied with Governor Imran Ismail on the occasion.