Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Isolation centres in every Sindh district: CM

By Mukhtar Alam 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, confirmed on April 6 that the number of infected people had gone upto 932 out of which 253 have recovered. 

According to him, 662 patients were under treatment in public and private hospitals, while 342 were isolation at their homes. 

In addition to existing corona treatment and isolation facilties, he said, the government was in the process of establishing one isolation centre in every district, while relevant quarters have also been asked to ensure that private health establishments allocate 10 per cent of their bed for corona patients.

In a message, he informed that SOPs were underway for leading post lockdown lifestyle. “We will handover SOPs, which are under preparation, for each and every sector, including mosques, shopkeepers and traders, industries, educational institutions and others for post lockdown period,” he stated. 

He further said that every individual will have to reshape his and her domestic, business and social life in the post lockdown period as life will not be same as it was before the coronavirus spread in the country. 

On this occasion, the Chief Minister also urged the philanthropists to maintain social distance from recipients, while distributing rations among them. “If the social distancing is not maintained, there are chances of spread of the diseases, which may be termed as crime”, he warned.

Coronavirus claims life of first physician in Sindh

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro became the first physician from Sindh to become a casualty of coronavirus (COVID-19) as he passed away at the isolation centre of the Indus Hospital, Karachi, on April 6. He was 64. 

He had been on life support for the last several days after having contracted coronavirus while treating his patients in the Gulsahn-e-Hadeed. In their separate messages, the Sindh Chief Minsiter, Syed Murad Ali Shah, and the Sindh Health Minister, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, stated that they were deeply grieved over the demise of Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro. 

The Chief Minister recognized that the deceased healthcare professional was one of the frontline doctors facing the corona pandemic. 

Having done MBBS from the Chandka Medical College Larkana, Dr Abdul Qadir Soomro specialized in dermatology before starting his practice. A former chief medical officer (CMO) of the Pakistan Steel Mills, he was actively involved in the establishment of charity health facilities in Sindh.

Coronavirus Update: Infection rate unchanged in Sindh

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The overall rate of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Sindh remained almost unchanged on April 6 when it was declared by the government that different set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for post lockdown era was in the offing. 

Another 51 people out of 658 tested at different government designated testing centres were found infected. The latest rate came as 9.71% in comparison to 9.86% of April 5, 10.38% on April 3. No official data was released on April 4. 

As per the data, the Sindh health department tested 658 people in 24 hours ending at 8am on April 6, out of which 7.75 samples were confirmed corona positive. Similarly, another 51 samples were assessed on April 5, out of which 5.43% were positive, while 47 (9.63%) out of 488 tested on April 3 were detected positive. 

An analysis suggests that the average every day percentage of new infection remained lower than the overall Covid-19 infection in the province since February 26 when the first corona infection of Sindh and country was confirmed in a young man, who had the history of travelling Iran, a country facing the onslaught of the virus that originated from China in mid-December 2019 and took almost the entire world in its grip. 

Though peaceful with the existing contained rate of the corona tests in the province, experts at the same time stressed the need for expanding the testing activities to have any practicable picture or trend of the infection. 

Considering the population of Sindh, estimated to be around 55 million, an expert reckoned that government has been able to test only 9,600 people (0.017%) so far, which remained a negligible rate in comparison to other infected countries. 

In Sindh, the disease has spread in 19 districts, including six districts of Karachi, claiming 18 deaths. The last death was that of a physician serving in the Malir district of Karachi.

Chinese university gifts face masks to KU

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The staff at the University of Karachi (KU), which at present is closed for any academic purpose, will start getting face-masks, having been gifted by a Chinese university from April 7.

An official of the KU informed PNFS on April 6 that teaching and non-teaching staff may start getting the face-masks from the university’s health clinic on April 7. 

As many as 7,000 surgical face-masks, including about 50 N95 facemasks, have been arranged by KU’s Confucius Institute (CI) recently, in the wake of Coronavirus epidemic in the country, the official added. 

Earlier at a ceremony during the day, the CI Director, Professor Zhang Xiaoping, handed over the facemasks boxes on behalf of from the Sichuan Normal University of China to Senior Medical Officer of KU Clinic, Prof Dr Syed Abid Hasan in the presence of KU Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, and senior faculty members. 

Professor Xiaoping shared that Pakistan and China have been good friends for many years. “When the human to human transmission of coronavirus occurred in China we got a lot of support from Pakistanis,” he added, observing that now, like numerous countries across the globe, Pakistan is also faced with the challenge of the COVID-19 and the Chinese government and people are very much concerned and willing to support Pakistanis.

He recalled that the KU VC and the Pakistani Director of CI at KU others recorded video messages and prayed for early recovery of the coronavirus affected people in China. 

“We got a lot of special support and wishes from the people of Pakistan,” he said and added that the SNU, which is the hosting university of the CI, had provided durable face-masks for the teaching and non-teaching staff of KU. 

The KU VC, Dr Khalid Iraqi, said that the university administration was grateful to SNU for its goodwill gesture. 

“While Pak-China friendship has got stronger and deeper with the passage of time, such a difficult time is bringing them further closer to each other,” he mentioned. 

On this occasion, VC also appreciated the role and services of the staff of the KU’s clinic, saying the whole staff is available around the clock to facilitate the teachers and non-teaching staff. 

The KU Registrar Professor, Dr Saleem Shahzad, expressed that Sichuan Normal University has sent the gift to help the KU staff and believed that these masks will help against the disease at this difficult moment. 

The KU Senior Medical Officer, Dr Syed Abid, thanked the SNU for providing surgical and N95 masks. He also informed the gathering that Al Khidmat, a welfare organization, has also provided three doctor’s suits, hand sanitizers, surgical facemasks, and gloves to the KU Clinic recently.

KPT donates 3,000 ration packs for COVID-19 victims

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, on April 6, handed over six trucks, having 3,000 ration packs, to the Governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail, for free distribution among the labourers in Hyderabad. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor of Sindh disclosed that the target was to distribute 50,000 ration packs out which 7,000 packs had already been distributed and 3,000 more packs were being sent on April 6. 

He informed that the ration bags had been collected with the contributions of the philanthropists as well as the institutions supporting the cause of the victims of Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

He also disclosed that as many 120,000 people have been registered for the tiger force from the province of Sindh.