KARACHI/ISLAMABAD       -           The Sindh province on Sunday confirmed that at least 182 children under the age of 10 were tested positive for deadly coronavirus.

Murtaza Wahab, a spokesman for the Sindh government, revealed that over 900 people (60 and above) had contracted coronavirus in the Sindh province.

In a video statement, he said the government repeatedly advised people to stay at homes to protect themselves and their families from deadly coronavirus. “We have to protect our children and elders from coronavirus,” Wahab said.

He also appealed to the public to make sure that the children and old-age people do not leave homes because when they go outside they contract the deadly virus. About the lockdown policy of the provincial government, he said people have diverse opinions about the lockdown. “Some are talking about a smart lockdown while others opposing the lockdown,” he said.

He said the government again and again urged people to stay at homes and remain in isolation to protect themselves and their families from novel coronavirus. He also urged people to follow the government’s decision of lockdown to save generations. “If we want to protect our children, our elders and the society from the disease, it will happen only with implementation of the lockdown,” he asserted. “Ensure social distancing in your surroundings, neighborhood and with those who regularly interact with you,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has urged people to show responsibility and avoid congregations during Ramazan.

Addressing news briefing in Islamabad on Sunday, he said that the coronavirus threat was not over yet and appealed to the people to stay and pray at homes during the holy month of Ramazan. He said the NDMA was engaged in providing personal protective equipment to frontline paramedical staff in various hospitals across the country. He told the media that the government was working to further enhance testing capacity of various laboratories in the country. He said during the last 24 hours, 6,218 tests were conducted, of which 783 tests were declared positive, while 15 deaths have been reported. He said that 80 percent of the positive cases in the country became victim to the disease through local transmission.

Meanwhile, National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) undertook a comprehensive review of implementation of Ramazan guidelines, SME package, health situation and data integration. The meeting held here at the NCOC was chaired by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar. According to the officials, minister for Interior Ijaz Shah, while speaking on the occasion, said that population in urban areas needs to be continuously educated to follow the guidelines and not to operate business as usual during Ramazan. He said that the population in villages was observing guidelines, which was encouraging. He said that the political leadership particularly at the district and union council level had most important role to educate masses for public safety and well-being.

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said the provinces might be asked to give feedback on compliance by people on Ramazan guidelines today (Monday). The forum dilated upon health situation and future course of action vis-a-vis coronavirus.

According to the NCOC, the total number of Coronavirus infection cases in the country had reached 12,723. These included cases from Punjab 5378, Sindh, 4232, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1793, Balochistan 722, Islamabad Capital Territory 235, Gilgit-Baltistan 308, and Azad Kashmir 55. It said that so far, 2,866 patients of Coronavirus had been recovered, while 269 had died (Sindh: 78, Punjab: 81, KP: 93, ICT: 03, Balochistan: 11 and GB: 03) and another 78 were in a critical condition. According to the NCOC, 144,365 tests have been conducted since the outbreak of the pandemic. It said that the cause of infection was ascertained to be local transmission in 81 percent of the cases and those contracted coronavirus through foreign travel were only 19 percent. The government had established 717 hospitals with COVID-19 treatment facilities with 3,389 patients admitted across the country, it said.



Coronavirus hits children hard in Sindh