Sindh govt considers stricter lockdown as coronavirus cases continue mushrooming

KARACHI: The government of Sindh is reportedly pondering reimposing a province-wide lockdown to curb the coronavirus spread as cases of the deadly respiratory disease continue mushrooming.

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The Sindh government has hinted at implementing recommendations made in a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) sent Tuesday to the Punjab authorities. The global health body had expressed concern over easing of a lockdown in Pakistan’s biggest province without fulfilling six conditions to do so.

The South Asian nation has recorded more than 122,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and registered almost 2,400 deaths. So far, the Sindh and Punjab provinces have been neck and neck in the number of infections, identifying 46,828 and 45,463 patients, as of reporting time.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the sources said, was consulting with his party leadership over the WHO’s suggestions and recommendations and taking advice from senior members of the provincial cabinet as well as health experts.

A final decision on the proposed two-week lockdown and other restrictions was expected to be made in consultation with the federal government, the sources in the Sindh government noted. The provincial leadership had also decided to get in touch with Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab.

The current situation of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan required that the recommendations of the World Health Organization be strictly followed, the sources said.

Large-scale testing to identify and diagnose cases of the respiratory disease could be carried out on predetermined days once a lockdown was in place, according to members of the provincial cabinet.

1,712 children infected with COVID-19

Various ministers in Sindh suggested that while the spread of the virus could not be stopped, it was, however, possible to isolate coronavirus patients through contact tracing.

Earlier today, the government of Sindh reported the highest single-day surge in cases of the coronavirus after carrying out more than 10,000 tests.

According to CM Shah, 3,038 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours and the nationwide death toll rose to 2,394 after 38 new deaths were reported in Sindh, taking the provincial tally to 776.

Further, Sindh government spokesperson Senator Murtaza Wahab said 1,712 children were infected with COVID-19 in the province.

“Unfortunately, 4 such children have passed away. Our carelessness has exposed our dearest children,” Wahab wrote on Twitter. “Please, it’s not too late to change, please stay home for your children and elders.”

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