Murad urges people to follow SOPs during Eid to contain spread of Covid-19

Published May 13, 2021
THE meeting of the coronavirus task force under way at CM House on Wednesday.—PPI
THE meeting of the coronavirus task force under way at CM House on Wednesday.—PPI

KARACHI: The number of Covid-19 cases had increased by 30 per cent last year during the Eid holidays, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday, making an appeal to the people to stay home on the coming Eid.

“I would suggest to all the people to stay home and enjoy your Eid with your immediate family members. This is the only way to contain the virus and save others,” the CM said while presiding over a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Coronavirus at CM House.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Syed Nasir Shah, Jam Ikram, Adviser on Law Murtaza Wahab, Parliamentary Secretary Qasim Siraj Soomro, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh Mushtaq Mahar, ACS for home Usman Chachar, Commissioner of Karachi Naveed Shaikh, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, AIG of Karachi Imran Minhas, Finance Secretary Hassan Naqvi, Secretary of School Education Ahmed Bux Narejo, Secretary of Health Kazim Jatoi and others.

At the outset of the meeting, a comparison of the Covid cases during the holidays of last Eidul Fitr was made which showed a 30pc increase in positive cases. The last Eidul Fitr was celebrated on May 24, 2020 and on that day there were 846, or 15pc, positive cases. Just after Eid, the ratio of positive cases went on increasing and within 18 days it reached 3,038 cases, which was a 30pc ratio. The meeting observed that the causes of the abnormal spike in cases was a violation of SOPs.

Therefore, the chief minister urged the people of the province to celebrate Eid with their immediate family members and avoid going out to meet relatives. “This is the only way to protect everyone,” he remarked.

Vaccination centres to remain open during the holidays

Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi, sharing the data of last Ramazan, from April 24 to May 2020, said that in the first week of Ramazan, 12.57pc new cases were detected with 44 patients having died. In the second week, the detection ratio increased to 14.34pc with 50 deaths. In the third week the detection ratio was 15.49pc with 79 deaths and in the fourth week, 16.99pc new cases emerged. In other words, 15,554 cases were reported against 103,433 tests, which showed an overall 15.04pc detection rate, and 250 patients died.

Analysing the indicators of the current month of Ramazan, from April 12 to May 9, 2021, the meeting was told that in the first week of Ramazan 4.71pc new cases were detected with 23 deaths, in the second week 6.31pc cases with 43 deaths, in the third week 6.96pc cases and 62 deaths and in the fourth week 7.08pc cases and 64 deaths were reported.

To sum up, 370,096 tests were conducted during Ramazan against which 23,551 cases were detected that constituted 6.36pc cases with 192 deaths.

District-wise cases

Sharing the weekly district-wise positive cases data, Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said that district East of Karachi had 23pc cases, South 15pc, Central and Hyderabad 11pc each, Dadu 9pc, Sukkur, Larkana, Ghotki, Malir and Karachi’s district West had 6pc cases each. Korangi had 5pc, Mirpurkhas 4pc, Thatta, Kashmore, Badin and Khairpur 3pc each.

Vaccination centres

The meeting decided that the vaccination centres would be functioning as usual during Eid holidays.

The chief minister urged the people to get themselves vaccinated against the virus.

Vaccination doses

The provincial government has received 862,000 doses of Sinopharm, 11,000 of Cansino, 80,000 SinoVac and 107,500 AstraZeneca. All the received doses have been provided to the vaccination centres.

Takeaways allowed

The chief minister in consultation with the participants in the meeting decided to allow restaurants to offer takeaway service but with the SOPs.

At the restaurant, nobody would get out of the vehicle to collect the food, and they would be given by the restaurant staff. And no restaurant would place chairs for dining or just sitting at the restaurant. “We would seal the restaurants in case of violation of the SOPs,” the chief minister said.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021

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