National News

‘11 out of 12 coronavirus suspects declared negative’

KARACHI: The Health Department recently sent 12 coronavirus samples for lab testing, out of which 11 have been declared negative while the result of one sample has not been received yet.

This was disclosed in the coronavirus taskforce’s meeting held at the CM House. Chief Secretary Sindh, Mumtaz Shah, Minister Health, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Advisor Law, Murtaza Wahab, Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shahlwani, Col Shabir Khan, and other top officials, attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister was informed that the test results of the initial eight suspects were declared negative. Four samples were sent later. Three were declared negative, while the result of the remaining one sample will be announced shortly.

It was also disclosed that 2301 pilgrims had returned from Iran, including 681 via Karachi and 1620 via Taftan, Baluchistan. The Health Department has obtained their details, and they are under careful scrutiny.

The Chief Secretary told the Chief Minister that he had contacted his counterpart in Baluchistan to share the details of the pilgrims coming from Iran via Taftan. The Baluchistan government has directed its home department to coordinate with Sindh’s home department. He added that both the departments would share the details of the pilgrims kept in quarantine in Taftan and allow them to move to Sindh and other provinces.

The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to request the Baluchistan government to hand over a certificate of health clearance to each and every person being released from quarantine.

It was pointed out in the meeting that some of the educational institutions had defied the government’s orders and opened their respective institutions as per routine. At this, the Chief Minister directed Commissioner Karachi and Additional IG Karachi to take action against them and report them.

The Chief Minister thanked the Health Department, administration, airport authorities, Civil Aviation Authority, FIA, Pakistan Rangers and Corps Headquarters, Sindh Police, and others for their coordinated and untiring efforts.

The Commissioner Karachi told the Chief Minister that during the last five days, 87 people had approached the control room of the Commissioner House. The callers were given the necessary counseling. None of them, however, had a travel history of Iran or China.

The Chief Minister was told that hand washes, sanitizers, and essential food commodities had also been provided to the quarantined families. They have also been provided with medicines arranged through hospitals and philanthropists.

-MN Report

March 4, 2020

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