Meeting of Provincial Task Force on Coronavirus decides to review situation on Friday and impose further restrictions if pandemic continues to surge
A meeting of the Sindh Provincial Task Force on Coronavirus on Tuesday decided to impose a “complete ban” on all movement in capital Karachi after 6 p.m. in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the meeting was informed that the positivity ratio in Sindh had climbed to 12.7 percent, while Karachi was reporting positivity of 26.32 percent. According to a statement issued by the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, Shah noted that the provincial capital’s positivity ratio had remained in excess of 20 percent for three straight days, adding this was a “matter of great concern.”
“It is very concerning that COVID is continuing to spread,” he said. “Hyderabad, too, has reported a positivity of 10 percent,” he added. In Karachi East, the positivity had climbed to 33 percent; Central District 20 percent; Korangi 21 percent; Karachi West 19 percent; Malir 17 percent; Karachi South 17 percent, read the statement.
The chief minister regretted that 362 coronavirus patients had died during the month of July thus far. He said that of these deaths, 233 (64 percent) had been on ventilators at the time of their passing, while 85 (23 percent) had not been receiving critical care.
In a bid to prepare for a potentially worse situation, Shah directed the Labor Department to establish COVID wards in police hospital and other facilities. He said arrangements should also be made for COVID patients at the Services Hospital and Korangi Hospital.
To limit mobility and encourage social distancing, the chief minister directed the inspector general of police, a complete ban on movement should be imposed in Karachi from 6 p.m. daily. “No one should step out of their house unnecessarily,” he said, adding that he had been informed that tuition centers were still operating and these should be shut down immediately.
“I will review the coronavirus situation again on Friday. If the situation had not improved, further steps would be taken [to curb its spread],” Shah was quoted as saying during the meeting. He also formed a committee of lawmakers to apprise all stakeholders of the situation, stressing that “no one should use the opportunity” to indulge in politics over matters of public health.
A day earlier, the Chief Minister’s House had announced that—apart from 14 offices such as the media, public complaints and protocol cells—all offices of the provincial chief would remain closed in view of the current surge in coronavirus cases. The 14 offices that would remain open, it said, would operate with 50 percent attendance.
“The decision has been taken to keep the employees of the Chief Minister’s House safe during the fourth wave of coronavirus,” read the statement.