KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday said coronavirus claimed 49 more lives and infected another 2,894 people overnight in the province.

“The death toll stemming from coronavirus crossing the figure of 1,000 has reached 1,013 and the number of Covid-19 infected people has come to 65,163,” he added.

In a statement issued here from CM House, the chief minister said that 13,642 tests, the highest in Pakistan, were conducted overnight against which 2,894 cases were detected constituting 21.2 per cent detection rate. “So far 354,129 samples have been tested which diagnosed 65,163 cases,” he added.

Talking about deaths, the chief minister said 49 more patients lost their lives while struggling against the virus. “Within the last 48 hours, we have lost 97 valuable lives due to coronavirus,” he said and added that the situation was quite serious and painful.

He added that so far 1,013 patients had died which constituted 1.55pc death rate.

Death toll crosses 1,000 in Sindh

The CM said that 73pc of deaths were with co-morbidities and 75pc of victims were over 50 years of age.

According to the CM, at present 31,425 patients are under treatment, of them 29,818 in home isolation, 64 at isolation centres and 1,543 at different hospitals.

He added that 673 patients were in critical condition, of them 113 had been put on ventilators.

Mr Shah said that 1,691 more patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals. “The number of patients recovered so far has reached 32,725 which constituted 50.3 per cent recovery rate,” he said.

Giving district-wise details, the chief minister said out of 2,894 new cases, 1,626 belonged to Karachi. They include 471 in East, 413 in South, 255 in Central, 213 in Malir, 150 in Korangi and 124 cases in West.

He said that Khairpur had 164 new cases, Hyderabad 64, Jamshoro 62, Ghotki 45, Sukkur 30, Larkana 29, Thatta 26, Naushahro Feroze 22, Sanghar 18, Shaheed Benazirabad 17, Dadu 16, Shikarpur nine, Jacobabad and Kashmore seven each, Umerkot, Matiari and Mirpurkhas six each, Badin, Tando Allahyar and Tando Mohammad Khan three each and Qambar and Sujawal had two cases each.

Mr Shah said that the provincial government had increased testing capacity and it was highest in Pakistan. “We have made all out efforts to strengthen further our health delivery system, and I am sure it will serve the people of the province,” he said.

Testing capacity

He said that the provincial government had established 20 laboratories in 10 districts which were working day and night to test samples.

“We have enhanced our testing capacity by 110 times, which itself is a record and a manifestation of our commitment with the people of Sindh,” Mr Shah said.

He said that the number of hospitalised coronavirus patients had increased by 11 times compared to 22 days before. He also added that the number of critical patients had also grown 22 times over the past 22 days.

Paying rich tribute to healthcare staff, the CM said that all over 46 doctors, nurses, paramedical staff lost their lives in Pakistan while serving the coronavirus patients and 17 of them were in Sindh. “I salute them for their selfless services to the people of Pakistan, particularly of Sindh at this critical juncture.”

Mr Shah said that keeping in view safety of people a selective lockdown had been imposed in different areas of different districts of the province. “I would request people of the province to cooperate with the administration in appropriate imposition of the lockdown,” he said and added “this is all for the safety of our people”.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2020