Monday, April 6, 2020

Sindh CM stresses on social distancing

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, in a video messaged released on April 5, stressed that social distancing was the only way to contain coronavirus and he appealed to the masses that they should cooperate with the government during the lockdown till April 14 as announced by the government. 

Speaking about the management of people infected with coronavirus, Murad Ali Shah revealed that 380 of the active cases, with no or mild symptoms, have been isolated in their homes, while 224 were being treated in the government-run isolation facilities and another 139 in different hospitals. 

Moreover, he continued, government has constituted rapid response teams which deal with the pandemic in every district of the province. These teams have been tasked to identify corona patients and examine other suspected cases linked to him or her also, he mentioned, adding that all patients get equal attention and treatment from the government doctors, irrespective of the fact that they are at home or in a hospital. 

He noted that if the disease spreads in katchi abadis (slum areas), it will be very difficult to contain the disease there, as such localities are thickly populated, while people in many cases live in a single room.

Coronavirus Update: Sujawal, Naushehro Feroz also infected

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

According to the Sindh health department data, issued after a gap of 33 hours on April 5, the coronavirus has reached in 18 districts of Sindh, where 743 patients having contracted the infection are still under treatment. The new infected districts were Naushehro Feroz (two new cases) and Sujawal (one case). 

As per the official data of the Sindh government, with the detection of new cases across the province the tally of corona infection has reached to 881, out of which 123 got recovered, 15 died at Karachi and Hyderabad. New cases were reported from Karachi (37), Larkana (6), Hyderabad (4), Naushehro Feroze (2), Sujawal (1) and Sukkur (1). 

The overall district wise tally of positive corona patients across the Sindh on April was: Karachi (417), Sukkur (274), Hyderabad (156), Larkana (13), Shaheed Benazirabad (6), Tando M Khan (5), Ghotki (2), Jamshoro (2), Naushehro Feroze (2), Dadu (1), Badin (1), Sujawal (1) and Jacoababad (1). Sindh has tested 8,931 people since February 26, out of which 881 were found infected.

Corona field facility at Karachi Expo Centre may admit patients now

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The 1,200-bed field isolation centre at the Karachi Expo Centre, on April 6, will open its doors for new COVID-19 infected patients of Karachi and other parts of Sindh who will be referred to it by designated tertiary care hospitals, as the diseases infected another 51 people in six districts of Sindh on April 5. 

A source in the provincial health department informed PNFS that authorities have decided not to overburden the designated tertiary care health facilities in terms of corona cases further. 

The hospitals have now been asked to admit only new severely ill COVID-19 patients or those seeking intensive cares, while the rest will present at the newly established Expo Centre isolation facility, where the Sindh health department has deployed its doctors, paramedics and other human resources, the source added.

Through a letter of the health department, all the district health officers of Karachi division have been asked to refer the asymptomatic or mild symptomatic COVID-19 positive cases to Field Isolation Centre at the Karachi Expo Centre, from April 6 after due processing. 

However, medical superintendents of the hospitals of Karachi have been asked to ensure that the positive cases having moderate or severe symptoms of COVID-19 were kept in isolation ward of their respective hospitals, according to the letter. 

The source said that the field isolation centre has been established by the Pakistan Army with the technical support of a private university hospital, while Sindh government is supposed to meet out the human resources component including the physicians. 

If needed, the COVID-19 patients from hospitals in the interior of Sindh may also be shifted to the Karachi field hospital in question, the source added, clarifying that none of the coronavirus patients already admitted in about six designated hospitals in Karachi will be transferred to the Expo Centre, which was inaugurated in the presence of the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Sindh Health minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on April 2.

PALPA stops pilots from operating flights

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Airlines Pilots’ Association (PALPA), on April 5, has urgently advised all its members not to operate any flights until further orders. 

In a flash to its members, the PALPA official has pointed out that it had come to their notice that safety had been compromised and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) related SOP’s had been ignored on recently operated humanitarian flights. 

It was stated that safety and health of its crew members has always been and remained their utmost priority and the PALPA will, under no circumstances, compromise on the safety of its members. 

According to the PALPA sources, the Corona related symptoms were suspected in four pilots and the crew members were shifted to a private hotel at Karachi airport. 

It was disclosed that a couple of pilots and as many First Officers had reached Karachi after a ferry flight from the UK after having operated a special flight from Islamabad. 

Meanwhile the suspects were being tested for Coronavirus and in case the report came positive they will be pitted to quarantine accordingly. 

According to the PAPLA, it had written a letter to the PIA Management regarding putting pilots on flight operation without protective kits and measures and in the absence of protective measures it has great reservations of allowing pilots on duty under prevailing conditions.