KARACHI: In the wake of the ongoing lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus in the province, the Sindh government on Tuesday put a ban on all religious gatherings, rallies and congregations including the Yaum-i-Ali procession and mahafil-i-shabina during Ramazan.

A notification issued by the home department said that the decision was taken in line with clerics and ulema of all schools of thought.

It said directives were issued to district administrations across the province to ensure the implementation of the ban.

“All religious activities during the holy month of Ramzan with gathering of people like majalis and juloos for Shahadat-e-Imam Ali (RA), religious rallies/gatherings and mehfil-e-shabeenas being not Farz shall not be held,” said the notification.

‘Infection ratio comes down’

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Tuesday that 335 more coronavirus cases emerged overnight as the provincial government conducted 4,112 tests, the highest number so far, in the past 24 hours.

In his daily video message released from the CM House, he said that seven patients died.

Murad says Covid-19 infection ratio has come down from 12pc to 8.15pc

He said that so far 48,061 tests had been conducted in the province and 5,291 were diagnosed as positive.

“In this way the infection ratio has come down from 12 per cent to 8.15pc. This is something encouraging but we have to take care of ourselves and of our families and other people,” he said.

Mr Shah said that seven people died on Tuesday, thus the number of deaths stemming from coronavirus reached 92, which constituted 1.73pc of the total patients.

He said that 38 more patients recovered and returned to their respective homes. “The number of patients who have recovered so far has reached to 963 and the recovery rate has been recorded at 18.2pc,” he said.

The chief minister said that 4,236 patients were under treatment, including 2,915 at home isolation, 872 in isolation centres and 449 at different hospitals. He added that 48 patients were in critical condition and of them 13 were on ventilator.

258 new cases in Karachi

Giving the district-wise break-up of patients, the chief minister said that Karachi had 258 new cases. “Of the total 5,291 cases, 1,609 belong to Karachi, therefore, it has to be contained,” he said.

Mr Shah said that district South had 1,037 cases with 89 new cases, East 821 cases including 53 new cases, Central 655 cases with 43 new cases, Malir 312 cases with 21 new cases, West 392 cases with 24 new cases and Korangi had 392 cases with 28 new cases.

“This is not a good situation and everyone of us will have to be careful,” he said.

Talking about other districts, the chief minister said that17 new cases were detected in Hyderabad, 10 in Jacobabad, seven each in Sukkur and Shikarpur, six each in Shaheed Benazirabad and Tando Mohammad Khan and five cases were detected in Larkana.

He said that coronavirus had started spreading in rural areas. “Despite our serious efforts people do not adopt social distancing, as a result many of them are not only getting infected but also infecting others,” he deplored.

More isolation centres being set up

He said that he was setting up additional isolation centres.

“The capacity of Expo Centre is being enhanced to 1,500 beds, PAF Museum site to 600 beds, Gadap City Hospital to 150 beds, Dumba Goth Hospital 100 beds and Field Isolation Centres to 100 beds,” he said.

Mr Shah said that with the increase of new patients, expansion of isolation centres was necessary so that patients from congested areas could be shifted there.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2020