KARACHI               -            After much hard work, the Sindh government has established the country’s largest Bio-safety Level-III (BSL-III) laboratory at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi (KU), which has the capacity of testing 2,400 people for per day.

This was disclosed by Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah through his video message, released from CM House on Thursday.

He said that the National Institute of Virology, known as International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi had been transformed into a COVID-19 testing facility. “For the purpose, BSL-III has been completed and equipped with the testing machines and with trained staff,” the CM said, and added that initially the lab had the capacity of testing 800 samples per day, which would be enhanced to 2,400 tests per day within three weeks.

The chief minister said that RNA extraction and RT-PCR kits were being provided to Professor Dr Iqbal Chaudhry, the director of the Centre, for starting the tests. “This is big news for us that finally the country’s largest testing facility has been set up in the public sector,” he said with a sense of pride.

Karachi reports 202 COVID-19 cases in a day: CM

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that for the second consecutive day on Thursday, Karachi had reported the highest number of coronavirus cases.

“The situation calls for taking drastic measures,” Murad said, and added that 298 cases of the virus were reported in Sindh on Thursday when 3,373 people were tested. “Out of these 298 cases, 202 belong to Karachi while the worst affected districts are South, Central, Malir, East and Korangi,” the CM said.

He further said that out of 33,028 persons tested so far, 3,671 had tested positive for the Covid-19.

He said that four more patients succumbed to COVID-19 in the province on Thursday, adding the death toll now stood at 73, which is 1.98 percent of the total cases.

He elaborated that of 2,934 patients currently under treatment, 1,871 were in home isolation, 649 were at isolation centres while 423 were admitted at different hospitals.

Talking about Karachi, Murad said that out of 202 cases reported on Thursday, 67 were from District South, 79 from Malir, 29 from District Central, 25 in District East, 19 in Korangi and six in District West.

At present, District Central has 436 cases, East 491, Korangi 250, Malir 234, South 646 and West 273 cases. “In this way, Karachi has 2,330 coronavirus cases,” Murad said.

Covid-19 patients in other districts:

Giving the figures of other Sindh districts, the chief minister said Badin had 11 cases with two new cases, Dadu had 14 with two new cases, Ghotki had 122 with one new case, Hyderabad had 231 and no new case, Jacobabad had nine cases, with no new case, Jamshoro had 14 cases, with no new case, Qambar at Shahdadkot had only one case, Khairpur Mirs had 166 cases, with one new case, Larkana had 86 with 11 new cases, Matiari had only one case, Mirpurkhas had six cases, Naushehroferoze had 19 cases, with five fresh cases, Sanghar had 19, with one new case, Shaheed Benazirabad had 82, with 10 new cases, Shikarpur has only six cases, Sujawal has 11 cases, with one new case, Sukkur has 363 cases, with 25 new ones, Tando Allah Yar has six cases, Tando Mohammad Khan  has 33 cases, Tharparkar has only four cases, Thatta has four cases, Umarkot has so far four cases while 14 are yet to be confirmed.

Stranded Pakistanis

The chief minister said that of 913 overseas Pakistanis, who had returned to Karachi so far, all were tested. “And as a result, 98 passengers were tested positive for the virus, and all of them were put under treatment,” he said, and added, “22 patients are under treatment at Ramada while others at Expo Centre and in Malir.”

The chief minister said that his government was taking proper care of the returnees.

Tableeghi Jamaat

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the number of Tableeghi Jamaat members, who had been tested so far were 5,102. “The results showed that 764 were positive, 4,321 negative while the results of 17 samples are yet to come,” he said.  He said that the people of Tableeghi Jamaat, who tested positive for the virus, had been kept in quarantine.