The COVID-19 curve might be flattening overall in Pakistan but not in Sindh where the number of positive cases crossed the 100,000 mark on Thursday when 1,538 more people tested positive for the viral disease during last 24 hours, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the province to 100,900, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday.
“We have lost 40 more lives in the province due to COVID-19 overnight while with 1,538 more cases, we have crossed the number of 100,000 cases in Sindh and now 100,900 people have so far contracted the viral illness in Sindh province,” he explained in his daily report on the situation of the epidemic in the province.
In fact, as per the official website of the Sindh health department, the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Sindh had reached 101,041 at around 9:30pm as people have been incessantly dying and contracting the disease in the province.
Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed on Thursday that “the COVID-19 curve is flattening” in Pakistan but figures and officials revealed that the viral disease was ‘raging on’ in the port city where dozens of people have been dying on a daily basis while the number of new cases is also still on the rise.
Officials at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Islamabad are also worried about the constant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Karachi and warned that with Eidul Azha approaching, the number of cases might further rise in the coming weeks.
“Despite a decrease in the number of tests, COVID-19 cases are constantly on the rise in Karachi while the number of patients under treatment at various hospitals and deaths due to infection are also on the rise. This is quite alarming as a downward trend is being observed in other cities of Pakistan except Karachi,” an official of the NCOC said.
Confirming that 40 more people had lost their lives in the province, mostly in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister said the death toll due to COVID-19 in Sindh stood at 1,677 while 1,500 people were still hospitalised at various hospitals in the province, a majority of whom were in Karachi.
“Of the 1,500 patients under treatment at various hospitals in the province, condition of 581 is critical and of them, 75 are on ventilators,” the CM said and added that currently, 41,596 patients were under treatment, of whom 39,697 were in home isolation.
The official data revealed that around 399 COVID-19 patients were also under treatment at various isolation centres in the province, especially at the Field Isolation Centre at the Expo Centre Karachi where a 140-bed high dependency unit is admitting serious patients on a daily basis. The CM maintained that with 40 more deaths due to COVID-19 in the province, the death toll had reached 1,677, which was 1.6 per cent of the total number of COVID-19 cases in Sindh.
He added that the 1,538 new patients were detected after testing another 9,860 samples. So far 543,400 tests have been conducted in the province that diagnosed 100,900 patients, constituting a 19 per cent overall detection rate, he said.
Shah stated that 1,254 more patients had recovered and returned to normal life during 24 hours. The number of patients recovered so far had reached 57,627 that constituted a 57 per cent recovery rate.
Sharing the district-wise data, the CM said that of the 1,538 new cases, 722 were detected from the six districts of Karachi division, of which District East had 204, District South 166, District Korangi 98, District Central 94, District Malir 75, and District West had 49.
He added that Hyderabad had 97 new cases, Sukkur 88, Naushehro Feroz 72, Badin 66, Sanghar 55, Shikarpur 53, Larkana 32, Sujawal 26, Thatta 24, Umerkot 23, Ghotki 21, Tando Allahyar 18, Kambar-Shahdadkot 17, Jamshoro 14, Mirpurkhas 12, Dadu six, Jacobabad five, Shaheed Benazirabad four, and Kashmore and Khairpur had one new case each.
The CM urged the people of Sindh to be cautious and adopt standard operating procedures issued by the government. The Sindh government has already stated that the pandemic is not going to end anytime soon and decided to promote the use of masks among the people, implement targeted lockdown in hotspots, enhance testing and make available more high dependency unit (HDU) beds at isolation centres in the province.
A recent meeting chaired by the CM decided to promote the use of masks through advocacy, ensure free availability of masks to people, use a “carrot and stick” policy in this regard, and put in place targeted lockdowns in areas where the transmission of the virus was very high in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.