NAWABSHAH: Fear gripped the city on Monday after the administration sealed a locality over reports of burial of a suspected Covid-19 patient without following WHO-recommended standard operating procedure.
Sources said that a 45-year-old man in Manuabad locality was taken to a private hospital in Karachi after falling seriously ill and died there on Saturday. Doctors suspected his symptoms to be similar to those of Covid-19 and took his sample for test but he died before the arrival of the test result, hence the staff concerned packed the body as per SOPs and handed it over to the family asking them to follow WHO-recommended SOPs for burial, said the sources.
They said the hospital did not share the information with the health department or the district administration with the result that the family brought the body back to Manuabad where all normal burial rites including ghusl, funeral prayers and burial were held and attended by hundreds of people.
Assistant Commissioner Tariq Ali Solangi said the hospital was not supposed to hand over the body to the family as it should have waited for the test result.
He said the administration had no information on the suspected case. The moment it learnt about it on Sunday, the area in the Manuabad locality where the patient lived was sealed and the deceased’s family, neighbours and those who had attended the funeral were quarantined, he said.
He said the deputy commissioner had ordered the health department to carry out tests of the family members and all other persons who had attended the funeral and keep the area sealed until the residents were declared negative.
Shaheed Benazirabad Commissioner Syed Mohsin Shah attributed the lapse to human error and said that he had, however, asked departments concerned to take action against officials found negligent in performing their duties.
The deputy commissioner was not available for comments.
LARKANA: The authorities sealed parts of Dari and Nawan Tak and Bakrani Road localities late on Sunday night after some residents of the areas tested positive for Covid-19.
Police put up barriers at entry and exit points of the localities to restrict residents’ movement and contain possible rise in local transmission of the virus.
The district health office and control room at Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University did not share any information with media on the current situation with regard to the virus as the Covid-19-positive cases continued to rise in the city. Out of 26 samples collected on Saturday seven were found to be coronavirus positive, raising the number of locally transmitted cases to 21 in the city. All the cases belonged to the sealed localities, said the sources.
The sources said that 19 members of a family who had returned from Lahore to Allahwarayo Solangi village near Naudero were immediately shifted to isolation unit in Naudero hospital where health officials collected their samples for Covid-19 tests and then allowed them to go home.
HYDERABAD: A doctor and a technician out of over 100 staff members, who underwent tests at Indus Medical College and Hospital, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.
Samples of the staff including doctors, nurses, paramedics and others were collected after a senior doctor tested positive for the virus two days back.
The staff members remained quarantined within the hospital till their samples had been collected, said the hospital’s chief executive officer Dr Iqbal Memon.
Dr Memon, who was among those who tested negative for the virus, said the hospital remained closed and the staff had been allowed to go home. Decision on reopening of the hospital would be taken later, he said.
Meanwhile, six more cases from Tando Mohammad Khan district tested positive on Monday, taking overall tally of positive cases in the district to 28.
Cop tests positive for virus
A police constable tested positive for coronavirus on Monday and was admitted to the isolation ward at the Liaquat University Hospital’s (LUH) city branch.
He was among the policemen who were quarantined at CIA Centre and A-Section police station in Latifabad after they came into contact with infected suspects.
Samples of 31 policemen were taken on Sunday and of them one was found positive while the remaining 30 were found to be negative. They were quarantined in the CIA Centre.
Twelve policemen were quarantined at A-Section police station and at home. Their samples were collected on Monday and the test result would be made available on Tuesday morning.
The infected policeman was a resident of Makki Shah area. His family members would also undergo the mandatory test.
The policemen who were cleared by the test were being allowed to go home with certain precautions while CIA Centre was being disinfected.
SUKKUR: Eight out of 153 members of Tableeghi Jamaat quarantined in different mosques across Jacobabad district tested positive for the virus on Monday and 145 were found to be negative, said officials.
Those cleared in the test were sent back to their hometowns and the infected persons were shifted to isolation ward in Jacobabad. They were quarantined in Thull, Garhi Khero and Jacobabad towns, they said.
MIRPURKHAS: The in-charge of isolation centre has said that most of the absentee doctors and paramedical staff to whom he had issued explanation letters have joined their duties.
He told Dawn on Monday that he had to issue the letters last week after they failed to show up at the centre. Currently, four Covid-19 patients were lodged at the centre amid strict security, he said.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2020