Digital mapping of coronavirus patients being conducted in Sindh to help identify more cases

Published March 31, 2020
ALTHOUGH the Sindh chief minister has issued strict orders against travel of more than one passenger in a rickshaw, overloaded tri-wheelers and pickups are a common sight in the city.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
ALTHOUGH the Sindh chief minister has issued strict orders against travel of more than one passenger in a rickshaw, overloaded tri-wheelers and pickups are a common sight in the city.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Data compiled by the provincial authorities of coronavirus patients in Karachi has suggested district Central as the worst-hit area of the metropolis where the highest number of such patients has been found so far, officials and sources said on Monday.

Besides, the authorities are also conducting digital mapping of the mobile phones of Covid-19 positive cases with the help of professionals to create a comprehensive database.

A source said that the digital mapping would help in tracing the travel history of the patients and their social contacts before they were tested positive for Covid-19.

“There are 249 confirmed patients of Covid-19 in Karachi,” he said. “The city’s Central district has emerged as the worst affected where a large number of patients with coronavirus has been registered thus far.”

Karachi’s district Central has emerged as worst-hit area of the metropolis

He said that the Sindh health department had completed the digital mapping of more than 125 patients and the exercise would help identify suspected cases at a better pace.

Testing capacity being enhanced

Meanwhile, the number of testing facilities for Covid-19 in the province has increased from three to nine, where more than 1,000 tests were being conducted on a daily basis with the government hoping to enhance the capacity to 3,600 tests per day in the next few weeks.

“Earlier, we had only three facilities for the tests of suspected patients,” said a spokesperson for the Sindh health department. “Now there are nine health facilities conducting such a test as six institutions from private and government sector have recently upgraded their facilities to join the list. Right now, we are conducting 1,200 tests daily and we hope to increase the number to 3,600 tests per day within the next few weeks.”

ALTHOUGH the Sindh chief minister has issued strict orders against travel of more than one passenger in a rickshaw, overloaded tri-wheelers and pickups are a common sight in the city.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
ALTHOUGH the Sindh chief minister has issued strict orders against travel of more than one passenger in a rickshaw, overloaded tri-wheelers and pickups are a common sight in the city.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

The facilities conducting the tests of suspected Covid-19 patients across the province are the Indus Hospital, Dow University of Health Sciences’ Ojha Campus, Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Civil Hospital Karachi, Dr Ziauddin Hospital, PNS Shifa, Chughtai Lab, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Hyderabad, and Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Khairpur.

In a separate statement, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho confirmed three more coronavirus deaths in Karachi, bringing the total number of casualties to five during the past 33 days.

The three victims, aged 52, 66 and 63 respectively, belonged to Karachi and were hospitalised after being tested positive for the coronavirus infection three days ago, she said.

“The 66-year-old patient was said to be suffering from renal failure and was on dialysis for quite some time, while the 52-year-old was infected with the respiratory problem. Both were confirmed victims of local transmission and had no history of foreign travel or coming into contact with the people who may have such a record. Another victim was 63-year-old woman who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia,” said the statement. “Covid-19, a self-limiting condition that can be largely prevented through adequate precautions, was said to have triggered complications among the two citizens due to their health status, having severely compromised their immunity.”

Four recovered

Also, Chief Minister’s Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab tweeted details of fresh number of patients recovered from the pandemic in the province and said that four “more patients have recovered from coronavirus in Sindh and have tested negative”.

“The total number of recovered patients in Sindh now stands at 18. This again emphasises the importance of strictly following the isolation guidelines,” he tweeted. “23 Zaaireen [pilgrims] who had earlier tested positive of coronavirus in Sukkur have Alhamdolillah recovered & have tested negative. This again shows the importance of self isolation, if we all isolate ourselves, we can actually protect not only ourselves but our loved ones & others.”

Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2020

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