KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has confirmed another case of coronavirus in Karachi, taking the reported case toll to three in Karachi.
Media Coordinator to the Health Minister, Meeran Yousuf, said a 69-year-old patient, resident of District East, had a history of travel to Iran. He returned to Pakistan on February 25th, 2020. He was being monitored by the Health Department and was tested today when the symptoms starting showing.
This was disclosed in a recent meeting of the taskforce on coronavirus held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the CM House.
The Chief Minister said that he was taking all necessary steps to contain the coronavirus, but unfortunately, a third case has emerged. He directed the Health Department to isolate the family members of the new patient and trace all those who he was in close contact with.
The meeting was attended by Minister Health, Dr Azra Pechuho, Minister Local Government, Nasir Shah, Advisor Law, Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary, Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh, Mushtaq Maher, PSCM, Sajid Jamal Abro, Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shahalwani, Home Secretary, Usman Chachar, Additional IG Karachi, Ghulam Nabi Memon, Secretary Health, Zahid Abbasi, DG PDMA, Salman Shah, Dr Faisal of Aga Khan University Hospital, along with representatives of the Rangers, Corps -5, Civil Aviation, Airport, and the FIA.
The Chief Minister was informed that six coronavirus suspects’ samples were sent to the lab for testing, out of which one has been declared positive and another one negative, while the result of four additional samples are yet to be announced.
The meeting was told that the total number of pilgrims had been calculated at 2355, out of which 1748 have completed 14 days in quarantine and presented with no symptoms of the virus, 497 are in quarantine at their home, and 110 are still untraceable. The Chief Minister directed the Secretary Health to hand over the CNIC numbers of the untraced pilgrims to NADRA so that they may be traced properly.
In Pakistan, a total of six coronavirus patients have been detected so far out of which three are in Sindh, two are in Baluchistan, and one is in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Two hundred fifty-one coronavirus suspects have been tested all over Pakistan so far, which include 59 in Islamabad, 75 Punjab, 68 in Sindh, 24 in KPK, eight in Baluchistan, three in AJK, and 14 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Out of the 251 tests, only six cases have been tested positive.
President, Sindh Doctors Welfare Association (SDWA), Dr Mujtaba Memon, demanded a complete ban on all kinds of gatherings and events in the Sindh province to control the spread of coronavirus.
He also suggested that special status is granted to the Baqai Hospital and the Murshid Hospital to treat suspected coronavirus patients as both health facilities are situated at Karachi’s entry points.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza, also confirmed the sixth coronavirus case in Pakistan, adding that the patient is clinically stable and is being well taken care of.
He said that the pilgrims who returned to Sindh had been traced through district committees headed by deputy commissioners. We have tried to contain the coronavirus through a public-private partnership with the Indus Hospital. Dr Faisal Mehmood of the Aga Khan University is also on board with the Sindh government, he said.
The Chief Minister requested the federal government to share the province-wise details of the pilgrims who have been put in quarantine in Taftan and Chaman so that his government could take necessary measures.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that in Baluchistan, the pilgrims returning from Iran were being kept in quarantine only for five days. He suggested that they must be retained for 14 days, as recommended by the experts/doctors.
The Sindh Chief Minister offered Baluchistan his support in whatever is needed for quarantining the pilgrims, including testing the suspect, the necessary equipment, and more.