Health Department recommendations include closure of schools for a longer period, ban on large public gatherings
The Sindh Health Department on Tuesday took into consideration proposals to urge the government to implement a ban on public events in Karachi after nine new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported from the city a day earlier.
A meeting of the Health Department, led by Sindh Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho, decided to send a recommendation to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to extend the ongoing closure of schools—set to end on March 15—in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19. It also recommended establishing a health desk at the city’s airport, reported local media.
The health desk, said the meeting’s participants, would help screen anyone entering Karachi for the coronavirus. Similar desks, said a spokesperson for the Health Department, would be established at hospitals to provide up-to-date information on the pandemic to concerned citizens.
The spokesperson also said that the Health Department would forward a recommendation to the government to cancel large gatherings such as the ongoing Pakistan Super League tournament to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in the metropolis.
A spokesperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board, meanwhile, said the organization was in contact with the Sindh government in light of the rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. “PCB officials are in constant touch with the Sindh government and attending all the meetings regarding PSL matches in the city,” the spokesperson said. “Whatever the government recommends, the PCB will implement,” they added.
There are five PSL matches still to be held in Karachi; the first match is schedule for March 12, with subsequent matches on March 13, March 14, March 15, and qualifier on March 17.