KARACHI: In yet another grim landmark, the death toll from the deadly coronavirus surpassed 500 in Sindh on Monday while the number of confirmed cases topped 29,000 with 1,402 new infections reported in the past 24 hours.
In his daily situation report on the pandemic, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said the local transmission cases of the novel coronavirus were on the rise in Sukkur, Larkana, and Ghotki.
Shah said 46 cases of coronavirus were reported in Ghotki and Sukkur each, while Larkana had 38 new patients. He warned the people of these cities to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) because the local transmission cases were on the rise in their areas.
Separately, 25 new cases of the virus were recorded in Hyderabad, 21 in Mirpurkhas, 20 in Shikarpur, 12 in Jacobabad, eight each in Khairpur and Jamshoro, four each in Badin and Sujawal, two each in Thatta, Dadu, and Naushahro Feroze, and one each in Umerkot, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Kashmore-Kandhkot.
The chief minister said the month of June started with 22 deaths and detection of 1,402 new cases, bumping up the respective to-date totals to 503 and 29,647.
Giving district-wise details of the cases in Karachi, the chief minister said 1,028 of the 1,402 new cases were from the metropolis. The Korangi district had 292 cases, East had 232, South had 193, Central had 165, West had 101, and Malir had 45.
Shah said 1,402 (22.3%) of the 6,289 samples tested were positive. The government of Sindh, he added, has so far conducted 187,092 tests of which 29,647 were positive.
He noted that another 22 patients succumbed to the coronavirus, bumping up the death toll to 503 (1.7%).
Some 14,554 coronavirus patients were under treatment, including 13,346 at home, 113 at isolation centres, and 1,095 at different hospitals. Of those, 71 of the 342 patients in critical condition were on ventilators.
On the other hand, 785 patients recovered during the last 24 hours, increasing the number of recoveries to date to 14,590, which translated into a 49.2% recovery rate.
WHO representative meets Shah
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative for Pakistan, Dr Palitha Mahipala, called on the chief minister and discussed the coronavirus situation in Pakistan, particularly in the province.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Dr Sara Khan of the WHO, and Principal Secretary to CM Shah, Sajid Jamal Abro, attended the meeting.
The chief minister said he had enhanced the testing capacity from 200 to 6,600 a day and that he was establishing two separate hospitals of infectious diseases in Karachi, with a capacity of 250 beds.
Similar health facilities would also be established in other divisional headquarters of the province, he added.
Karachi: (June 1st, 2020) Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah meets with World Health Organization Representative for Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipala here at CM House. Minister Health Dr. Azra Pechuho and Dr. Sara Khan of WHO are also attended the meeting. pic.twitter.com/RjWUTukV3R
— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) June 1, 2020
The WHO country chief appreciated the Sindh government’s efforts in containing the coronavirus and slowing its spread. He urged Shah to take strict measures to force the people to adopt precautionary measures.
Thanking the WHO for supporting and guiding his government in the fight against the coronavirus, the chief minister urged Dr Mahipala to impart a training programme for doctors, paramedical staff, and nurses dealing with the virus cases.
The WHO representative assured Shah of his organisation’s support to the government of Sindh in all aspects, including training.
On the other hand, the chief minister shared also spoke of the PIA plane crash, noting that 87 of the 97 dead bodies had been handed over to their respective families.
At present, four and six bodies were in the mortuaries of Chhipa Welfare Association and Edhi Foundation, respectively, he added.
According the chief minister, 48 bodies were identified through DNA testing, while one sample was yet to be matched.