Sindh govt to issue advisory on avoiding public gatherings after corona-virus cases rise to 13

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A man wears a face mask as a preventive measure, after Pakistan confirms fifth coronavirus case, walks in a market Karachi, Pakistan March 3, 2020.

A day after Sindh reported nine more cases of corona-virus, all in Karachi, the provincial health department is expected to issue an advisory for people to avoid large public gatherings.

The count on Monday — the highest of the epidemic since it was first detected in the country last month — took the total tally to 13 in the province and 16 in the country.

Sindh Minister of Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho during an internal department meeting on Tuesday, according to media coordinator Meeran Yousuf, decided the following:

  1. Sindh Health Department will be setting up its own health desk and screening at the Karachi Airport to screen all the patients coming to the city
  2. All private and public hospitals will be setting up a front line desk for information on corona-virus
  3. An advisory will be issued today to avoid large public gatherings
  4. It has been suggested to the chief minister to ban large public gatherings, like Pakistan Super League
  5. An advisory will be issued today for people to self-quarantine for 14 days if they have recently come to Karachi from a country with positive cases
  6. Gadap Hospital has been prepared and set up as an isolation facility for all confirmed positive cases
  7. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been provided to all private hospitals on how to deal with a positive case
  8. Shutting down schools for a longer duration has been suggested to the CM

According to Yousuf, the task force on coronavirus headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah will take up these points in today’s meeting and decide on the future course of action.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has said that it will follow the Sindh government’s directives regarding future PSL matches scheduled to be held in Karachi.

“We will follow the Sindh government’s directives. However, for now the matches are still scheduled for Karachi,” a PCB spokesperson told Public Hours.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said that the nine corona-virus cases confirmed on Monday evening are in a “stable clinical condition”.

“Almost all of them are asymptotic,” he said on Twitter.

“They all had travel history and were picked up during contact tracing of an existing #COVID19 patient,” Mirza said.

However, according to the Sindh health department, of the nine fresh cases, 6 patients came from the same flight and remaining three from a different one.

“None of these cases are contacts of an already confirmed case,” said the department in a tweet.

A day earlier, confirming the fresh nine cases, the provincial health ministry said the department was in the process of tracking down all those with whom the patients came in contact recently for further testing.

“The Sindh health department has nine new cases of corona-virus in Karachi. Six patients came from Syria via Doha whereas the other three patients came from London via Dubai during the past week,” said a department statement issued late on Monday.

Published on Public Hours March 10th, 2020

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