Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab on Monday warned that the Covid-19 situation in Karachi had become very "dangerous, alarming and concerning" ahead of the upcoming Eidul Azha holiday.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the adviser noted that the city's positivity rate had increased to 23.12 per cent in the last 24 hours when it was 8.5-9pc 10 days ago. He said Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) weren't followed by people after the Sindh government relaxed restrictions which led to the positivity increase.
"Now Eidul Azha is coming [...] and it's a very dangerous, alarming and concerning situation [in Karachi]," he added.
He called upon the public to follow SOPs for "your own benefit" and get vaccinated.
"The government doesn't want that there is strictness and we impose restrictions again because when we do then sometimes the PTI says something and sometimes the MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) does [but] no one thinks about doctors, health workers and hospitals," he said
Wahab said that people were falling ill in large numbers, turning towards hospitals and getting hospitalised, adding that "the situation is again developing to a dangerous extent."
Reiterating the need for everyone to get inoculated, the adviser said vaccines were present in "ample numbers". Without vaccinations, he said the government would be forced to take "strict decisions".
"I want to tell citizens that the situation today is dangerous and concerning and if in the next few days we don't adhere to the SOPs then these numbers (positivity rate) can become more dangerous.
"If they become more dangerous and there is no longer space left in hospitals then the citizens will face the loss. We all need to understand the dangers of Covid-19 irrespective of politics on the basis of humanity, support our government, follow SOPs, adopt social distancing [and] wear masks," Wahab stressed.
He also cautioned against "sowing disunity" and misinforming people about Covid-19, saying they should be informed about its reality and the ways to protect against it.
"Have the realisation and convince and unite the people that vaccination is the way to protect against it," he said.
Wahab also hit out at the federal government for opening travel for tourism to the northern areas, saying it was the reason for the surge in coronavirus cases in Gilgit and other places.
"I think you should ask the federal government, you can't place responsibility for this on the Sindh government. The federal government needs to review its policies because if the situation continues like this then may God protect us from this disease [because] I don't see any such intention of the [Centre]."
'Election not selection'
On the topic of the upcoming July 25 election in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, he said the people had fully come out to listen to the PPP's campaign rallies because "the Kashmiri people realise that the bravery and boldness with which the PPP fought Kashmir's case, maybe there is need of that today as well."
"I hope on July 25 there will be an election, not a selection, and if that election takes place transparently then victory will be PPP's," Wahab said.
The adviser also hit out at the government for the increase in prices of essentials, saying the people expected good news on Eid. He questioned why prices of various items were being raised when government spokespersons forwarded the narrative of the economy being strengthened.