KARACHI: Sindh chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that keeping in view the coronavirus situation his government would intervene to operationalize oxygen plants at steel mills against a cost of Rs1 billion.
“We are passing through a very serious situation; therefore, we have to be prepared to face any emergency.”
This he said while addressing the leading doctors he met at CM House on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Nasir shah, Advisor Murtaz, Chief secretary Mumtaz Shah, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, VC Dow Dr Saeed Qureshi, Dr Bari, Dr Faisal, Dr Shehla Baqi, Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali, Dr Nusrat Shah, DR Raqiq Khokhar, Dr Qaiser Sajjad, Dr Ghaffar Shoro, Dr Sharif Hashmi, Dr Qazi Wasiq, Dr Anoop, Dr Faisal Mahmood, Dr Sabir Memon, Dr Abdul Bari and others.
At the outset of the meeting the chief minister said that the new wave of coronavirus has badly affected various major cities of Pakistan. “We are also facing its severity and trying to take measures whatever seems to be feasible to control the situation,” he said and added the purpose of meeting with the leading doctors was to review the situation and firm up the recommendations for containing the virus.
Private hospitals allowed vaccination
On the advice of the doctors the chief minister decided to facilitate private hospitals use the government hospital cold storage chain to store COVID vaccines and start vaccination. Murad Ali Shah told the doctors that the government kept auditing its health facilities to ensure availability of all the required and relevant material.
The doctors appreciated the preparatory efforts of the chief minister right from the first wave and said the establishment of Infectious Disease Hospital in Karachi, provision of ventilators to every district and recruitment of doctors and para-medical staff were commendable.
They urged the chief minister to make necessary arrangements for production of oxygen. “When timely oxygen is given to a patient his changes to go to the ventilators are reduced,” Dr Qaiser Sajjad said and added the provincial government should take necessary measures to operationalize oxygen plants of Pakistan steel mills.
The chief minister said that a team of the federal government had visited Pakistan Steel Mill plant and reported that it could not be revived. “We held a meeting with the people of Pakistan Steel Mills at Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto and they told us that it could be revived within three month at a cost of Rs1 billion,” he said and added he would send his expert team to visit the plant and if it was worth to revive the provincial government was ready to spend Rs1 billion.
“We need oxygen for which we would take all our efforts,” he vowed.
The doctors suggested the government to strictly enforce implementation of COVID SOPs.
“At present the situation in Sindh is not as bad it is in other provinces but our Hyderabad, East and South have been affected badly,” he pointed out. The chief minister said that he has directed administration and the police to work in close coordination and ensure proper implementation of the SOPs.
He added that the Karachi administration on Monday issued 93 warnings for non-wearing of masks. 28 shops/Markets were challaned for opening beyond closing timing and recovered RS504,500 fine and 510 shops/markets were sealed, 13 people arrested and 271 were issued warning, the CM said and added that 71 transporters were challaned for violating government orders and recovered a Rs35,000 challan.
Similarly, three restaurants were challaned for Rs28,000 fine was recovered and one restaurant was sealed and nine issued warnings.
He said we as a government were taking drastic measures but the doctors, ulemas and other compelling personalities must play a role to educate people against COVID.
The doctors suggested the chief minister vaccinate people in Old Age homes for which he directed secretary health to vaccinate them.
The chief minister thanked the doctors for their support and urged them to keep guiding the health department during the on-going pandemic.