Federal govt needs to improve its airport screening systems as Sindh govt lacks jurisdiction: Wahab

KARACHI: Spokesperson for the Sindh government, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, on Wednesday said the coordination that should have existed – between the federal and the provincial governments with regards to coronavirus – was lacking.

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So far 20 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Pakistan — 15 of which have emerged in Sindh.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Wahab said the federal government needed to improve its virus monitoring system at airports, adding that the provincial government lacked jurisdiction to take measures at ports.

He said the approximately 2,300 people who had entered the province were contacted and wherever required, were tested.

“Those who tested positive were immediately shifted to isolation wards and their contacts were quarantined and even today we are monitoring this,” the Sindh government’s spokesperson said.

“But, unfortunately, there is a bit of a shortcoming in the federal government’s responsibility in this regard,” he said, adding: “Once again, I would like to appeal to the federal government, to further improve this system and make it effective.”

Wahab offered the provincial government’s complete cooperation in this regard.

“I believe that all these patients entered through Karachi airport which is why we need to improve the surveillance at airports.”

He said the Sindh government and the chief minister had been “on ground” since the first case was detected.

“Unfortunately, that response has not been seen from the federal government,” Wahab added.

Pointing to the federal government’s lukewarm response in light of the crisis, Wahab said CM Shah had to “contact the prime minister’s special assistant to engage with all the provinces via a conference call”.

“On the Sindh chief minister’s request a meeting was held,” he said, adding that no other provincial chief executive attended the meeting.

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