KARACHI                  -               17 new COVID-19 cases of local transmission were reported in Karachi on Saturday, taking the provincial tally of coronavirus cases to 457. According to a spokesperson for the Sindh Health Department, the port city has reported a total of 181 coronavirus patients so far, while 14 have recovered from the disease in the province, of them 13 belong to the provincial capital.

A total of 131 cases of local transmission have surfaced in Karachi. The number of deaths from the Novel coronavirus has risen to eleven, more than 1,400 people have been affected countrywide.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday hinted at complete lockdown in the province. He has stressed that the coronavirus pandemic cannot be controlled without implementing strict measures.

While expressing concerns over increasing number of local cases, he ordered the authorities to not let people come out on streets unnecessarily.

Furthermore, the Sindh government has decided to close all shops at 05:00 PM instead of 08:00 PM. Meanwhile, Three doctors and one supporting staffer of two major private hospitals of Karachi were tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

Two doctors and a technician of Sindh’s largest private sector hospital in the city have developed the coronavirus symptoms which forced the hospital administration to suspend screening and testing for the coronavirus.

At another private hospital, a doctor working at the Radiology Department has also been tested positive for the virus and put in isolation at his home. The doctor had arrived from the Tableegi Ijtimah Raiwind.

CM Taskforce reviews COVID-19 situation

Sindh Chief Minister’s Taskforce on Coronavirus on Saturday held its 31st meeting here at the Chief Minister House to review COVID-19 pandemic situation in the province.

In the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah decided to establish 14 Critical Care Units (CCUs) across the province, including one in Karachi and they must be equipped with ventilators, monitors, pulse oximeter, suction machines, defibrillator and compressors.

The meeting was attended by Minister for health Dr Azhar Fazal Pechuuho, Minister for Local Government Nasir Shah, Advisor to the CM on Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Home Mushtaq Maher, ACS Home Usman Chachar, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi, Brigadier Abul Sami COS 5 Corps, representatives of Rangers, FIA, airport, CAA, Dr Bari, Dr Faisal and Focal Person MB Dharejio.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that during the on-going lock down we have to strengthen our health facilities. “I want you [health dept] to establish new 14 CCUs, one in Karachi and 13 in other thickly populated districts.

He directed health secretary to equip the newly proposed vent bed CCU with ventilators, monitors, pulse oximeters, suction machines, compressors and also provide them 850 medical officers, 1320 nurses, ICU technicians and auxiliary staff.

He said that the CCU to be established in the city should have 200 ventilators, 200 monitors, 200 pulse Oximeters, 50 suction machines, 20 defibrillator and 50 compressors.

The facility should have 100 doctors, 200 nurses, 75 ICU technicians and 120 auxiliary staff.

The chief minister was told that in the province 45 hospitals have COVID-19 Isolation case management facilities. These 45 hospitals have 505 bed where 294 patients have been admitted and 291 were clinically stable and 14 of them have already recovered and released to their homes.

           

The Chief Minister was informed that the total number of coronavirus cases had increased to 469 which included 189 in Karachi (14 new cases), 265 in Sukkur, 1 in Dadu, 7 each in Larkana and Hyderabad. Thus, the total number of locally transmitted cases was 132. Over last three days, the number of cases had increased by 41.

The meeting was told that total 5322 tests had been conducted so far, of them 4835 were negative while 469 diagnosed as positive.

The Chief Minister said that in Karachi 12 new cases had emerged on Saturday while on March 27 the number of new cases was 17. “Data shows that the cases of local transmission have reached to 132,” he said. Syed Murad Ali Shah said that during the last three days 41 (March 26 to 28) have been detected.

It may be noted that 63 persons of the city, had travel history. One of them came from Italy, eight from Syria, six from Dubai, six from Iran, one from Qatar, seven from Saudi Arabia, six from Turkey, five from US, two from Switzerland, 11 from UK and one from Iraq.

Daily report submitted by the government hospitals shows that 1874 patients were diagnosed as suspect of pneumonia, of them 53 were tested while the private hospitals submitted a lits of 702 among them only 26 were tested. At present 150 are in home isolation and 34 in isolation wards of different hospitals.

Data shows that 189 cases are in Karachi, 265 in Sukkur, one in Dadu, seven in Hyderabad and seven in Larkana.

The CM Sindh said that the data of 429 cases showed that 265 were pilgrims means they were 62 percent, 13 percent or 54 people came from other countries and 110 or 25 percent were of local transmission. “The local transmission ratio is worrisome and needs to be contained further,” he said.