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KARACHI: The chief minister talking about the Covid-19 new highs in Sindh said on Sunday last year Eidul Fitr was celebrated on May 24, 2020 and on that day, we had 846 cases and within 15 days after Eid the number of cases had increased to 3,036 on June 11, 2020 that constituted 30 percent detection rate.

He was addressing a press conference on Sunday here at the CM House. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Law Advisor Murtaza Wahab, Dr Abul Bari of Indus Hospital, Dr Faisal Mahmood of Aga Khan hospital and Dr Sajjad Qaiser of PMA were also present on the occasion.

The CM said this year, Eidul Fitr was on May 13, 2021 and on that day, we had 1,232 cases and within eight days (May 22) the number of cases increased to 2135. "Our hospitals, particularly the Infection Disease Institute and Aga Khan have no beds for Covid patients.

Talking about PCR tests, he said after Eid 2,809 tests have been conducted per million population because we want to assess the situation so that appropriate strategy could be made to protect our people.

He added that during the last one-week the positive cases ratio has been recorded at 8.37 percent that was quite dangerous. The CM said when Ramzan was started the ratio of the cases was lower in Sindh than other provinces. As the month of Ramzan kept passing the number of cases went on increasing because inter-provincial transport services kept plying and moving passengers from one province to the other. "Had it [transport] been banned for two weeks as was suggested by the Sindh government the pandemic would have been contained," he deplored.

The chief minister categorically said in such a situation when cases of Covid-19 were on the rise and death rate was also showing an upward trend, relaxation could not be considered. "We may impose more and severe restrictions, if the people dare to defy SOPs," he warned.

He said marriage halls, expo halls, parks, indoor gyms, sports facilities, amusement parks, cinemas, beauty parlors, shrines and all tourist spots have been closed for next two weeks from Monday.

"All educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities have been closed across Sindh till further orders," he said and added transport has been allowed with 50 percent occupancy of their capacity. Shah said shops including supermarkets would operate from 6 am to 6 pm. "We would not allow supermarkets to operate under the pretext of having a pharmacy," he said and added pharmacies at hospitals and as separate stores would operate round the clock. The restaurants would offer only take away and home delivery service.

The chief minister urged people to get vaccinated. Minister Health Dr Azra Pechuho said that more vaccinations were being procured to cover the entire population. She added that mobile vaccinations units were being launched to cover elderly bed-ridden people.

Dr Faisal talking about developing magnetic power in the body after being vaccinated was a baseless narrative. "This is something to misguide the people," he said and urged people to get vaccinated to stay safe and secure from the virus.

Dr Bari of Indus Hospital said the UK variant was quite dangerous, and it affects so intensely. He added that people could be made secure if they were vaccinated.

Dr Qaiser Sajjad of PMA told the media that more restrictions should be imposed until the spread of virus was contained. He suggested that every day at least five to six lacs people should be vaccinated.

The chief minister at the outset of his press conference strongly condemned the Israeli and India terrorism in Palestine and Kashmir respectively.

Covid-19 situation report: The chief minister sharing the daily situation report of the coronavirus said that 11 more patients died overnight lifting the death toll to 4,920 that constituted 1.6 percent death rate. The CM said that 21,808 tests were conducted on May 23, against which 1,529 new cases were detected that came to 7 percent current detection rate.

He added that so far 3,980,371 tests have been conducted which diagnosed 309,630 cases that constituted 7.8 percent overall cases. He said overnight 599 patients have recovered and so far 281,596 patients have recovered that constituted 91 percent recovery rate.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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