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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that keeping in view the coronavirus situation, his government would intervene to make oxygen plants operational at Pakistan Steel Mills against a cost of Rs 1 billion.

“We are passing through a very serious situation; therefore, we have to be prepared to face any emergency,” said CM in a meeting with the leading doctors 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 the new wave of coronavirus had 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.

The doctors appreciated the 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 are commendable.

They requested the chief minister to make necessary arrangements for production of oxygen.“When timely oxygen is given to a patient his chances to go to the ventilator are reduced,” Dr Qaiser Sajjad said, adding the provincial government should take necessary measures to make operational 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 with Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto and they told us that it could be revived within three months at a cost of Rs1 billion,” he said.

A team of experts would be sent to visit the plant and if it was worth to revive the provincial government was ready to spend Rs1 billion, said the Chief Minister, adding “We need oxygen for which we would take all our efforts.”

The doctors suggested the government to strictly enforce implementation of Covid SOPS. “At present the situation in Sindh is not as bad as it is in other provinces however the situation in Hyderabad, East and South is alarming,” they pointed out.

The chief minister said he had 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 over 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, added that 71 transporters were challaned for violating government’s 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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