Alarm bells in Sindh as number of critically ill coronavirus patients spike

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KARACHI: Alarming situation developing in Sindh as the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals continues to rise. 

In his daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said the virus claimed 13 lives, bringing the death toll to 2,858. 

A total of 1,382 new coronavirus cases emerged in the past 24 hours. As of Tuesday night, 16,218 patients were under treatment in Sindh – the number stood at 15,440 24 Monday night. The number of those in self-isolation has gone up from 14,818 to 15,535 in just one day. 

He said 61 patients were hospitalised in the past 24 hours and the hospitals had declared condition of 74 patients to be critically ill. A total of 671 people are currently hospitalised – out of which 619 are critically ill. 

Health officials say only severely sick patients are being taken to hospitals in the second wave as compared to the protocol in the first wave of the virus. They expressed concern over the sharp rise in the number of severely sick patients.

Not only are the patients on life support dying, but those on high or low oxygen are also breathing their last during treatment, a senior physician at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation said about the second wave of coronavirus.

He said many self-isolating at home are also dying because of complications in the infection and the involvement of comorbidities.

What is the current situation in Sindh?

The Sindh CM, in his latest report on the health emergency, said 11,738 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, of which 12% of those who were screened being diagnosed with COVID-19.

The provincial government has so far conducted 1,917,813 tests, which have resulted in 166,033 positive cases, which means that 9% of those screened have been found to be infected, he added.

Shah said that after the latest deaths, the rate of the diagnosed people who have lost their fight with Covid-19 continues to stand at 2%.

He added that 591 more people have recovered in the last 24 hours, increasing the number of cured patients to 146,957, which shows the recovery rate has fallen to 88.5%.

Of the new cases reported in Sindh, 1,091 (or 79%) are from Karachi alone.

District East has reported 503 patients, District South 257, District Central 137, District Malir 86, District Korangi 82 and District West 29.

Hyderabad reported 70 new cases, Sujawal 49, Dadu 21, Thatta 18, Naushero Feroze and Ghotki 12 each, Umerkot and Jamshoro 11 each, Tando Allahyar and Mirpurkhas 10 each, Shaheed Benazirabad six, Larkana three, Matiari and Tharparkar two each, and Badin, Jacobabad, Kashmore, Sanghar, Sukkur and Tando Mohammad Khan one each.

Violations continue

A shopping mall located at Karachi’s Tariq Road area was sealed by authorities on Tuesday night after it was found violating the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).

According to Assistant Commissioner Ferozeabad Arsalan Saleem, the mall was sealed and the management was fined as the shopping mall violated the SOPs by remaining past the time limit prescribed to it by authorities. 

Karachi’s major markets near MA Jinnah Road, Light House, and Liaquatabad were found violating the Sindh government’s earlier orders that called on business centres to close businesses by 6:00 pm.

The 6:00 pm deadline had been issued by Sindh’s home department to stem the spread of the virus. However, the city’s much-frequented markets such as Zainab Market, Saddar Electronics Market, Pakistan Chowk in Karachi openly flouted the home department’s directives by remaining open past 6 pm.

Later, police officers forced shops and markets to close after they were found still conducting business beyond 6 pm.

What are the restrictions in the province?

– Indoor dining has been banned in Karachi. It will only be allowed in restaurants that can cater to customers in open spaces. Delivery is allowed. Karachi Administrator Shallwani issued a notification for this Monday night.

– Shrines are closed for visitors till January 31.

– Markets and business centres are to close by 6pm on weekdays. They can open by 6am, but have to stay closed on weekends, the Sindh home department notified on Monday.

– All cinemas, shrines, and gyms will be closed.

– Only essential services will be allowed to stay open on weekends.

– Wearing a mask is mandatory for government and private offices and public places.

– Government and private offices can call in only 50% of staff to work, while the remaining employees are to work from home.

– Outdoor events, including weddings, are restricted to 200 guests. Closed-door marquees and buffets have been banned. Food is to be served in packets and the function has to end by 9pm.

You can read a detailed story on what’s open and what’s closed across Pakistan

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