KARACHI: With the city’s contribution in the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country continued to increase — from 66 per cent to almost 80pc in a single day — provincial authorities on Friday seemed undecided about taking harsh measures, including lockdowns, saying they were closely monitoring the situation.
“The number of deaths and hospitalisation hasn’t increased the way [it did last year], though the burden of infections has risen dramatically,” Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told reporters at the Dow University of Health Sciences.
Asked about the possibility of a lockdown or closing schools and other educational institutions due to spike in Covid-19 cases, he said the health facilities were not under pressure right now and that the provincial government was in contact with the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) for decisions.
80pc of country’s new cases reported from Karachi
According to the federal and provincial data, Karachi reported 2,816 cases over the last 24 hours out of a total of 3,567 positive cases in the country.
Sindh’s contribution was 3,089 cases whereas the rest of the country reported 478 cases.
On Thursday, the city had reported 2,009 new cases, which was 66 percent of Pakistan’s total Covid-19 cases reported on that day.
Strict compliance of SOPs ordered
Karachi Commissioner Mohammad Iqbal chaired a meeting to discuss measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The meeting decided aggressive efforts to meet vaccination targets and deputation of law enforcement agencies’ personnel to ensure compliance to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) at wedding halls.
It also decided to shut all those schools whose management may refuse cooperation in students’ vaccination.
It was also decided that no person without a face mask would be allowed to enter a wedding hall.
The spike in Covid-19 cases, according to experts, is due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, now the dominant coronavirus strain in the city.
The Covid-19 data released by the CM House showed that 23 more cases of Omicron variant emerged when 24 samples were tested, raising the tally to 430 while 3,089 new cases were diagnosed through 15,719 tests.
The number of critical patients rose from 172 reported a day earlier to 209 on Friday with one death.
“Currently, 16,125 patients are under treatment; 15,875 are in home isolation, 22 at isolation centres and 228 at different hospitals,” the figures showed.
Out of the 3,089 new cases in Sindh, 2,816 were detected from Karachi, including 1,037 of district East, 934 South, 423 Central, 193 Korangi, 117 West and 112 reported from district Korangi.
Hyderabad reported 104, Shaheed Benazirabad 25, Sujawal 22, Naushahro Feroze 19, Matiari 15, Mirpurkhas 14, Tando Allahyar 11, Tharparkar eight, Badin and Sanghar seven each, Larkana six, Umerkot five, Dadu and Ghotki four each, Sukkur three, Kashmore and Tando Muhammad Khan two each, Jacobabad and Jamshoro one each.
Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022