KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday said that the increase in Covid-19 cases across the province may be linked to major religious events as well as opening of all business and educational activities.

“We can contain spike in the cases through strict implementation of standard operating procedures; otherwise it would hit new highs in the country,” he said while participating through video link in the 17th meeting of the National Coordination Committee held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, Commissioner Sohail Rajput and other officials were also present along with the CM.

Briefing the meeting, the chief minister said that till October 11, Karachi division had 2,742 actives cases, Hyderabad division 462, Larkana division 108, Sukkur division 129, Shaheed Benazirabad division 130, Mirpurkhas division 182 cases and 954 cases were yet to be ascertained.

Given the ratio of the last five days in the country, he said that 4.3 per cent cases were detected from Karachi division, 3.24pc Hyderabad and 1.73pc from other districts of the province.

Meets slain Maulana Adil’s family and assures them that killers will be brought to justice soon

The CM said that Sindh had conducted over 1.46 million tests, which were the highest in the country.

He said that Punjab had conducted 1.37m tests, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 407,304, Balochistan 112,580, Islamabad 407,479, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 52,317 and Gilgit-Baltistan conducted 37,304 tests.

He added that the testing capacity in Sindh had been enhanced to 20,000 per day.

Talking about violation of SOPs, the CM said that in Karachi 341 marriage halls were inspected, of them 97 were found delinquent, 77 issued warning letters and five of them were fined while 123 were sealed.

He said that 1,045 restaurants were checked and 577 were issued warnings and 30 of them were fined and 224 sealed.

Mr Shah added that 75 educational institutions were checked and 31 of them were found violating the SOPs. Therefore, 27 of them were issued warnings and four schools were sealed.

Talking about shops/factories, the CM said that 173 were inspected, of them 114 were found negligent in implementing SOPs, therefore 60 of them were issued warning letters, 13 fined and 29 were sealed.

He said that implementation of SOPs was the only way to stay safe, otherwise the virus would spread again.

One dies, 240 new cases overnight

Mr Shah said that 10,241 tests were conducted overnight against which 240 cases were detected, which constituted a 2.3pc detection rate. He added that so far 1,483,336 tests had been conducted all over Sindh which diagnosed 140,534 cases, of them 95pc, or 133,192, had recovered, including 259 overnight.

The CM said that currently 4,786 patients were under treatment, of them 4,466 were in home isolation, six at isolation centres and 314 at different hospitals.

“The condition of 190 patients is stated to be critical, of them 24 have been shifted to ventilators,” he added.

According to the CM, one more patient lost his life lifting the death toll to 2,556 that came to 1.8pc death rate.

He said that out of 240 new cases, 168 were detected in Karachi, including 57 each in East and South, 17 in Central, eight in West and six in Malir.

The chief minister said that Hyderabad had 12 cases, Dadu nine, Sukkur five, Ghotki and Jamshoro three each, Badin, Tando Allahyar, Thatta, Mirpurkhas and Naushahro Feroze two each, Shaheed Benazirabad, Shikarpur and Tando Mohammad Khan one each.

Visits Jamia Farooqia for condolence

The chief minister visited Jamia Farooqia to offer his condolence over the assassination of Maulana Dr Adil Khan. He met his brother Maulana Ubaidullah Khalid and sons Mufti Mohammad Anas and Mufti Umair.

Mufti Taqi Usmani, Maulana Tariq Jameel and Maulana Hanif Jalandhri were also present.

The chief minister told the heirs and companions of the slain cleric that the police would trace the killers and bring them to book.

“It was a conspiracy to disturb peace in the city but we will not allow them to succeed,” he said.

He thanked Maulana Adil’s family and his followers for extending cooperation with the government and demonstrating patience to bear this irreparable loss.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2020

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