Sindh sounds alarm as 132 new virus cases surface

-CM Murad says katchi abadis becoming hotspots
-Vow complete lockdown in cases reporting areas
-Country-wise tally surpasses 7,400 mark with 1,765 recoveries

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: The total number of coronavirus infections in Pakistan on Friday soared to 7,025 as the country recorded 497 new cases during the last 24 hours, media reported.
According to the government’s statistics, 1,765 patients have recovered from the disease, while with the recent 11 deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll stands at 135.
Currently 5,125 patients are being treated at the various hospitals across the country. The total number of tests conducted, so far in the country stands at 84,704 with 6,264 tests conducted in last 24 hours, the statistics released by the national dashboard.
In Pakistan, the government has started the implementation of lockdown measures besides reopening construction sector and also eases restrictions in some areas. The Sindh government granted conditional permission to specific industries to resume their operations amid coronavirus lockdown. The industrialists have been handed over standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be strictly followed after opening their factories.
However, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced that strict lockdown will continue across the province for another two weeks in order to control the spread of coronavirus cases.
Gilgit Baltistan government has announced to begin phase-II of the COVID-19 lockdown after only 56 active cases of the virus remain in the region.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that 209 new cases of coronavirus have emerged during the last 24 hours, of them 132 are from Tabligh Jamaat and 77 of Karachi particularly of katchi abadis.
In his video message in which he reached out to people of Sindh and overseas

Pakistanis said that the data available with him showed that the Pakistanis living abroad have been affected by Coronavirus more than the Pakistanis living in the country. He said that during last 24 four hours (from 8 am to 8:00am of April 16 & 17), he said that 2372 tests were conducted, of them 209 new cases detected. The tests conducted so far come to 21272 which resulted in 2217 positive cases.
Syed Murad Ali Shah disclosed that two more coronavirus patients died due to infection. The number of deaths so far has reached to 47 which is 2.1 percent, he said and added 1589 patients were still under treatment including 872 in home isolation, 469 at Isolation centers and 248 in hospitals. He said that five patients recovered completely and sent back to their homes with a certificate of recovery. He added that 581 patients have recovered so far which was 26 percent of the patients.
He said that the coronavirus positive [patients] of Tabligh Jamaat have been kept in isolation, therefore they would not be able to spread the virus and added those who were positive and roaming here and there were like a bomb to affect any body.
Dismayed by the persistent, steep rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the province, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah announced on Friday that his government had devised a new strategy to combat the pandemic and would be “completely sealing” coronavirus hotspots in Karachi. In a video statement, the CM revealed that 209 more Covid-19 cases were reported in the province on Friday. Of this, 132 were Tableeghi Jamaat members and all remaining 77 had emerged in Karachi, swelling the virus tally to 2,217.
Among those from Karachi, most had emerged in katchi abadis, he said, adding that two infected persons had died in the province on the day. “I am quite upset over the [rapid] spread [of the coronavirus], and without observing proper social distancing and isolation, we will not be able to contain the virus,” he said, adding that the government was now collecting more samples for testing from Covid-19 hotspots in the metropolis. Giving a district-wise breakdown of the cases reported from Karachi on the day, the CM said that in South district, 30 cases were detected from Lyari, Kharadar, Lea Market, Burns Road, neighbourhoods in the vicinity of Kala Pul, Shoe Market, Saddar and Garden.
Similarly, 16 cases in East district were reported from Gulbahar Colony, Gulistan-e-Johar, Sharif Colony, Khalil Colony and KECHS, he shared, adding that six cases were detected in Nasir Colony, Shareef Colony, Faisal Colony and PIA Housing Society, in Korangi district.
Speaking with regards to Central district, the CM said that 11 cases were reported from within its limits. “It is densely populated and the residents need to be more careful, taking more precautionary measures,” he said. Sharing details about suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases among Tableeghi Jamaat members, the CM said that 4,653 of them had been tested. As many as 429 tested positive and results of 91 samples were yet to come, he added. He assured that all the members of the Tableeghi Jamaat were isolated so as to curb the spread of the virus and likened anyone roaming freely to a ticking bomb that could affect anyone.
He revealed that the Sindh government had tested 21,272 samples so far, while, with two more deaths on Friday, the contagion death toll had reached 47, which was 2.1 per cent of the reported cases. Besides, of 1,589 patients under treatment, the CM said, 872 were isolated at their homes, 469 at isolation centres and 248 at hospitals.
He further said that five persons were given recovery certificates and sent back home on the day, bringing the number of recovered patients to 581. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said virus hotpsots in the city will be closed amid a rising number of coronavirus cases especially among residents of katchi abadis (slums). The chief minister said that 77 of the 209 cases reported today are of people who live in katchi abadis. Shah also gave the district-wise breakdown of the cases, according to which:
District South has 30 cases detected from Lyari, Kharadar, Lee Markeet. Burns Road, Kalapul, Shoe Market, Saddar and Garden areas
District East has 16 cases detected from the areas of Gulbahar, Johar, Sharif Colony, Khalil Colony and KECHS
District Korangi has six cases detected from Nasir Colony, Shareef Colony, Faisal Colony, and PIA Society
District Malir has six cases located in Landhi and Gulshan-e-Hadeed
District West has eight cases which are located in the areas of Afghan Basti, Northern Bypass and Baldia
District Central has 11 cases.