KARACHI: As the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic goes on the rampage in many parts of the country, authorities in Sindh are preparing themselves for the upcoming challenge in case of a rise in the number of Covid-19 patients in the province by recruiting some 900 health workers and putting isolation centres at standby, officials said on Saturday.
They said major isolation centres set up during the first wave of the pandemic were being revived and they could become operational on very short notice.
“The Sindh government in September 2020 decided to close its two field isolation centres, set up in the wake of Covid-19 emergency situation, at the Expo Centre and PAF Museum in the city,” said an official. “These centres were closed as the number of Covid-19 patients had decreased and there was enough space available in the province’s hospitals to treat the patients there.”
“Now, keeping in view the likely impact of the third wave on Sindh, the provincial government has put these centres on standby so that these could be restored anytime on a two-day notice,” the official added.
The provincial govt has ordered procurement of two million doses of Chinese vaccine Convidecia
The 1,200-bed Expo Centre field isolation facility was inaugurated in April 2020 aimed at serving as the cornerstone of the government’s efforts against the spread of the coronavirus. However, only a fraction of the Expo Centre field isolation centre was utilised owing to a lower number of Covid-19 patients in the city requiring isolation at such dedicated makeshift facilities.
The official said the centre had a 240-bed high-dependency unit and the number of beds at the centre was increased gradually. The same measures, he said, were also decided for other major urban centres of the province.
“So far, no case of UK Covid-19 variant has been reported in Sindh this year. But, we are preparing for any upcoming challenge,” he said, adding that the Sindh government had also enhanced the capacity of its existing human resources and some 1,000 health workers had been added to the system.
“Similarly, the medical superintendents of public hospitals in all Sindh districts have been authorised to recruit health workers on a contractual basis in case of any immediate requirement,” he added.
Sindh orders 2m doses of Chinese vaccine
The Sindh government had decided to engage Chinese vaccine manufacturer for direct import and allocated a sum of Rs500 million after the federal government allowed the provinces for direct procurement.
On Friday, Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah had told a press conference that the provincial government had placed an order for two million doses of Chinese vaccine Convidecia.
He said that the government would buy the vaccine by slashing development and other expenditures in order to protect the people of Sindh from Covid-19.
Published in Dawn, April 4th, 2021