Murad Ali Shah says stricter lockdown required to curb the spread of the coronavirus
The pace at which the novel coronavirus is still spreading in Sindh is very worrisome, provincial Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Saturday, as he detailed a surge in cases and casualties in the past 24 hours.
In a video message posted on Saturday afternoon, and shared on social media, Shah said the province had recorded six deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the provincial toll to 28. He said this was coupled with 104 positive coronavirus cases being reported in the same time period.
“We have recorded 104 cases in the province, which is an increase of 20 percent,” he said, adding it was the “highest average [daily increase] in the world.” Overall, the number of cases reported from Sindh now stands at 1,318.
“2.1 percent [of people who have been infected with coronavirus] in Sindh have died,” he said, adding that 919 active cases of COVID-19 were currently being treated in the province.
The chief minister warned that steps to curb the disease were failing, adding that this was partly the fault of the public for failing to adhere to the government’s directions for social distancing. “A stricter lockdown is our need at the moment,” he said. According to daily report issued by the Sindh Health Department, 87 of the 104 new cases were from Karachi and had been locally transmitted, further reinforcing the need for greater steps to curb community spread.
Shah said the provincial government had already issued orders for stricter measures in Malir district, adding that Hyderabad would soon follow, as the number of cases there was rapidly rising too.
A few hours after Shah’s message, authorities in Karachi sealed 11 union councils over reports of several coronavirus patients residing in those areas. The affected areas are: UC-6 Gillani Railways; UC-7 Dalmia; UC-8 Jamali Colony; UC-9 Gulshan II; UC-10 Pehalwan Goth; UC-12 Gulzar-e-Hijri; UC-13 Safora; UC-14 Faisal Cantt; UC-2 Manzoor Colony; UC-9 Jacob Line; UC-10 Jamshed Quarters.
Sindh was the first province to be placed under lockdown in mid-March, with the government having this week extended that to April 14. Earlier this week, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani told journalists that lockdown rules might be eased on April 14 to allow some sectors of the economy to resume operations.
Currently, Pakistan has 4,892 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 77 deaths and 762 full recoveries.