Sindh pens letter seeking army’s help for implementing SOPs

KARACHI: “We have also decided to seek the services of armed forces to assist district administration and the police implement Coronavirus Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the province”, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. 

He added that a letter to the ministry of interior seeking the services of armed forces would be written today [Monday] and its post facto approval would be sought from the cabinet on Tuesday.

The Sindh government, keeping in view the fresh spike in coronavirus cases, has taken some pragmatic policy decisions to ban inter-provincial transport, close educational institutions, slash government offices staff by 80 percent and purchase two oxygen plants and one of them would be airlifted from china.

The CM said that in Sindh we have 664 ICU beds with ventilators, of them only 47 were occupied. He added that there were 1,872 HDU beds with oxygen facilities in the province, of them 296 were occupied. “It still means we have enough facilities to deal with the patients but we have decided to upgrade and multiply our facilities,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah said that the oxygen was available in enough quantities in the province. “Alhamdullillah, we have no issue with [oxygen] shortage – we have three oxygen plants installed in government facilities, one at Trauma Center Karachi and other two are Dow University Ojha Campus and Gambat Institute of Health Sciences, Khairpur.

“We have decided to purchase two more plants, one from Italy and another one from China,” the CM said .

Murad Ali Shah said that all the schools, colleges and universities have been closed with immediate effect.

All the provincial government offices have been directed to slash their staff by 80 percent. The staff members would work from their homes, he said and added the offices of essential services would function as usual. The new office timing would be from 9 am to 2pm.

Mr Shah said that the private offices would have to slash their 50 percent staff, in case of failure their offices would be sealed.

Talking about markets, the chief minister said that they have been allowed to operate from early morning to 6 pm, as has been decided by the NCOC. “We are sure the traders would follow the SOPs, otherwise the government can impose more restrictions,” he warned.

He said that visitation in prisoners have been banned. “No visitor would be allowed to meet the inmates in jail,” he said categorically.

Murad Ali Shah said that Inter-city bus transport has been banned from April 29, 2021 – however goods transports would operate as usual. “I would take all the chief ministers into confidence about the decision of banning inter-city transport so that passenger transport may not rush at our borders.

Current situation:

Sharing daily situation report with the media, the chief minister said that six more patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 4,605 that constituted 1.7 percent death rate which was lower than other provinces, except Balochistan.

Mr Shah said that 11,855 tests were conducted overnight with 727 new cases that constituted 6.1 percent current detection rate. He added that so far 3,578,180 samples have been tested against which eight percent or 279,271 cases have been detected, of them 94 percent or 262,639 have recovered, including 343 overnight.

The CM said that currently 12,027 patients were under treatment, of them 11,485 were in home isolation, nine at isolation centers and 533 at 533 at different hospitals. He added that the condition of 509 patients was stated to be critical, including 43 shifted to ventilators.

According to the chief minister out of 727 new cases, Karachi has 258 cases, including 133 in East, 53 Malir, 29 central, 28 South, 13 Korangi and two West. Hyderabad has 140 cases, Shikarpur 58, Thatta and Sujawal 39 each, Larkana 26, Mirpurkhas 23, Dadu 22, Naushehroferoze 19, Shaheed Benazirabad 16, Ghotki and Jamshoro 14 each, kambar 12, Tando Allahyar and Badin eight each, Khairpur seven, Sanghar six, Sukkur three, Jacobabad and Matiari one each.