Murad orders strict enforcement of SOPs to stop spread of coronavirus

Published November 7, 2020
Keeping in view the alarming situation of Covid-19 in the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has called for strict implementation of SOPs in all business, social, religious, educational and other institutions. — DawnNewsTV
Keeping in view the alarming situation of Covid-19 in the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has called for strict implementation of SOPs in all business, social, religious, educational and other institutions. — DawnNewsTV

KARACHI: Keeping in view the alarming situation of Covid-19 in the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has called for strict implementation of standard operational procedures (SOPs) in all business, social, religious, educational and other institutions and in case of non-compliance directed the authorities concerned to take strict action.

“We can’t contain the virus until our people make the SOPs part of their lives, otherwise I would have no option but to impose restrictions,” he warned while presiding over a meeting of the Task Force on Coronavirus here at CM House on Friday.

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Nasir Shah, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar, Home Secretary Usman Chachar, representatives of Corps-5, Pakistan Rangers and others.

Karachi’s detection rate reaches 7.45pc during the past five days

The chief minister said that the detection rate was increasing in the province and the situation of Covid-19 was also worsening at the international level, with most countries imposing lockdowns again.

579 new cases in Sindh

The chief minister was told that overnight 579 new cases had emerged when 10,330 tests were conducted, which constituted a 5.6 per cent detection rate.

Expressing concerns that the 5.6pc detection rate was high, the CM directed the health department to enhance its testing capacity to 15,000 per day.

It was pointed out that so far 1,703,818 samples had been tested against which 148,922 cases were diagnosed, of them 95pc, or 140,233 patients, had recovered, including 367 overnight.

Mr Shah was told that during the last five days 25,931 tests were conducted in Karachi against which 1,932 cases were detected that constituted 7.45pc detection rate, which was highest in the province.

Similarly, 1,577 tests were conducted in Hyderabad district where 144 new cases emerged that came to 9.13pc detection.

In remaining parts of the province, 22,530 tests were conducted, which diagnosed 1.85pc, or 416 cases.

The chief minister said that the recovery rate in the province was encouraging but the new spike in the cases was worrisome and needed immediate measures to contain the virus.

He directed Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani to issue directives to the deputy commissioners to ensure proper and strict implementation of SOPs such as wearing masks, observing social distancing, avoiding handshake and crowds.

Mr Shah directed the deputy commissioners to start checking all institutions, including educational, religious [mosques, shrines, temples, etc] business centres, shopping malls, factories, supermarkets, restaurants, etc, for implementation of SOPs.

In case of violation, strict action must be taken including sealing of the facilities, he said.

Three die overnight

The chief minister was informed that currently 6,022 patients were under treatment, of them 5,729 were in home isolation, four at isolation centres and 289 at different hospitals.

The condition of 222 patients was stated to be critical, including 25 shifted to ventilators. It was also disclosed that three patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 2,667 that constituted 1.8pc death rate.

The chief minister directed Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi to revisit all the government hospitals to ensure availability of oxygen cylinders, medicines and other facilities for patients and if there was any shortage it must be met immediately.

He was informed that out of 579 new cases, 380 had been detected from Karachi, including 147 in East, 98 South, 53 Central, 46 Korangi, 19 Malir and 17 West.

Dadu has 11 new cases, Hyderabad and Jacobabad seven each, Badin six, Khairpur two, Larkana, Naushahro Feroze, Sanghar, Tando Mohammad Khan and Umerkot one case each.

Mr Shah considered different options to implement the SOPs, including reduction in business hours in all the institutions or imposition of lockdown in selected areas.

“I want to take strict measures in consultation with the federal government so that there should be uniformity in our national decisions,” he told the meeting.

He directed the chief secretary to keep him posted about the district-wise daily progress reports regarding implementation of SOPs.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2020

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