KARACHI                    -              Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that 383 new cases of coronavirus have been reported from the province during the last 24 hours, which are the highest figures in the last 61 days, February 26 to April 26.

In his video message released from the CM’s House on Sunday, the chief minister disclosed that 3,028 tests were conducted as a result of which 383 persons, including 301 in Karachi, tested positive for the virus.

“These are the highest figures ever reported during the 61 days of COVID-19 emergency,” he said, and added, “This shows the situation is going from bad to worse, and we will have to take some extraordinary measures.”

He said that so far 41,216 tests had been conducted against which 4,615 persons or 11.2 percent of the people had tested positive.

The Sindh CM said that three more patients had died in the province during the last 24 hours due to coronavirus infection, taking the death toll to 81, which made up 1.8 percent of the total number of deaths.

He added that at present, 3,662 patients were under treatment in the province, of whom 2,432 or 66 percent were in isolation at their homes, 767 or 21 percent were at isolation centers while 463 or 13 percent were admitted at different hospitals.

The chief minister said that 41 patients were in critical condition and 12 of them were on ventilators. “The doctors are struggling to save their lives,” he said. He further said that 70 patients had recovered and were discharged from their homes. “Our 872 or 18.9 percent patients have recovered so far,” he said.

Sindh Chief Minister said that Karachi was the worst-affected division of the province, with 301 new cases.

Elaborating further, Murad said that provincial capital’s District Central had 594 cases with 99 new ones, District East had 676 cases, including 66 new, Korangi had 318 cases, with 26 new, Malir had 272 cases, with 10 new ones, South had 895 cases, with 80 fresh cases while West had 322 cases, with 20 new cases.

He said that Sindh had 4,615 cases, of which 3,077 were in Karachi. “This is a serious situation,” he said, and added the government would have to establish more filed hospitals/isolation centers.  Syed Murad Ali Shah said that two more flights from Malaysia and Dubai had landed in Karachi. He added that both the flights had brought 505 stranded Pakistanis, all of whom had been kept in quarantine.

He said that the health department had started collecting their samples to test them and their results would come by Monday. The chief minister, just after going through the coronavirus situation report, called another meeting of the health department, which was attended by provincial ministers, chief secretary, Karachi commissioner and the deputy commissioners.

The chief minister said that since the number of patients were increasing day by day, therefore the government would have to enhance the capacity of the exiting field offices set up new centers. Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the Karachi commissioner to draw up a plan to enhance the capacity of Expo Center Field hospital from 1,200 to 1,500.

He also issued directives for setting up isolation centers at PAF Museum Convention Center, Dalmia Ground, Darul Ehsas Manghopir and other areas. The chief minister assigned the task of exploring other empty buildings and grounds to P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem where isolation centers/field hospitals could be built.

He said that the target set for setting up 10,000-bed facilities should be achieved.

He also directed the chief secretary to keep reviewing the requirements for equipment, doctors and the paramedical staff for the proposed facilities.

Presiding over a meeting of divisions and districts, other than Karachi he reviewed the sampling methods, availability of testing kits and directed them to start extensive testing.

The chief minister said that 17 cases have been detected in Sukkur, seven Hyderabad, two each in Khairpur, Thatta Badin, Matiari, Mirpurkhas and, one each in Dadu, Jamshro, Mirpurkhas, and Larkana.

Syed Murad Ali Shah directed Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho to send special teams of lab experts to visit each and every district to guide them for collecting of samples. “May be collection of samples not up to mark,” he said.

The chief minister directed all the deputy commissioners to improve their health facilities, encourage people to adopt social distancing in their respective areas.