KARACHI: The coronavirus claimed 23 more lives and infected 1,439 people while 953 patients recovered during the past 24 hours, said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here on Tuesday.

In a statement issued from the CM House, he said that with the testing of 5,454 samples 1,439 new cases emerged, which constituted 26.4 per cent of the tests.

The chief minister said the government had so far conducted 192,546 tests, which produced 31,086 cases. “In other words, the overall detection of the cases comes to 16.2pc while the current detection has been recorded at 26.4pc,” he said.

The chief minister said that with the death of 23 more patients the death toll in Sindh had reached 526, which was 1.7pc of the total patients. “Our death rate has increased from 1.6pc to 1.7pc,” he said and added that 358 patients were in critical condition and 64 of them were on ventilators.

Giving details of the 15,022 under-treatment patients, the CM said that 13,813 were in home isolation, 111 at isolation centres and 1,098 in different hospitals. “It is encouraging that 953 more patients recovered and were discharged,” he said and added that so far 15,538 patients had recovered, which constituted a 50pc recovery rate.

Ban on fishing lifted for June

Sharing district-wise data, Mr Shah said that out of 1,439 cases, 1,035 belonged to Karachi. He said Korangi district had the highest number, 263, of cases, East 242, Central 166, South 167, Malir 139 and West 58.

“Local transmission in Karachi is on the rise even then we took the hard decision to ease the lockdown further. Therefore, people will have to take more precautionary measures to keep themselves safe,” he said.

Mr Shah said that in the rural areas the coronavirus was spreading like wildfire. He added that Larkana had 50 cases, Hyderabad 47, Sukkur 40, Khairpur 33, Ghotki 27, Shaheed Benazirabad 17, Badin 15, Sanghar 13, Jamshoro nine, Qambar-Shahdadkot six, Sujawal and Shikarpur had five each, and Tando Mohammad Khan, Umerkot and Matiari had one case each.

The chief minister urged the people of Sindh to follow the SOPs, otherwise this pandemic could not be defeated.

Ban on fishing

Mr Shah, keeping in view the cyclones and ongoing Covid-19 situation, has decided to provide relief to the fishermen by lifting the ban on fishing in June.

He took this decision on Tuesday in his meeting with PPP MNA Qadir Patel, who called on him here at the CM House.

The MNA told the chief minister that the fishermen had suffered a lot for the last eight to 10 months due to cyclones, high tides, as well as the coronavirus situation and now the annual two-month ban on fishing had approached. He said that in such a situation, the fishermen would not be able to survive.

The government imposes a two-month ban — June and July — on fishing for breeding but the fishermen have been out of work for the last many months.

The chief minister said that he was well aware of the situation, therefore, he would provide relief to the fishermen.

He directed the fisheries secretary to move a summary to lift the ban on fishing in June so that with the easing off lockdown fishermen could resume their work and earn bread and butter for their children.

The chief minister said that he had always protected the interests of fishermen. “We would not let any segment of society, including fishermen, alone. My government would be supporting them to steer them out of the present crisis,” he concluded.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020