Karachi, June 02, 2020 (PPI-OT): Sindh Minister for Information Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said on Tuesday that 25 percent of the total coronavirus tests being conducted in Sindh province at present resulted in positive, which was extremely alarming. The information minister said that this was the reason why the Sindh government was repeatedly saying that if the guidelines issued on health were not followed, there could be huge losses. “If a complete lockdown had been imposed in the beginning, the coronavirus would not have spread so much today, but now we have to live with it for a long time,” he said.
He said this while addressing a press conference on Tuesday. Sindh Minister for Transport Owais Shah and Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister for Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab were also present during the press conference. Shah said that now the more we take precautionary measures, the more we would be able to protect ourselves and others from coronavirus. The minister said that it was unfortunate that despite repeated explanations, people were not understanding and were not taking the coronavirus seriously.
He said: “Our healthcare system has not enough capacity to handle so many patients, so people have to take the coronavirus seriously.” Shah said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was fortunate to have a sensible and mature opposition in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which was at least supporting it completely on the issue of lockdown, adding that, the situation in Sindh was completely different.
The minister said that whenever the Sindh government talked about imposing lockdown or ensuring implementation on the health advisory or standard operating procedures just to save the lives of the people in the province, the opposition immediately held a press conference against it. He said that people had been constantly incited against the Sindh government baselessly by the opposition, adding that, the Sindh government was portrayed as a villain or enemy.
Shah said that the Sindh government was continuously increasing the capacity of conducting testing for the detection of people affected with coronavirus. The minister said that in terms of population, the number of people infected with the Coronavirus in Karachi was less than in Lahore and Islamabad. He said there was an urgent need to increase testing capacity to detect Coronavirus patients across the country.
Shah said that after the meeting of the National Coordination Committee a unanimous voice and agreed decisions should reach the people so that people take these decisions seriously and realize that they had to follow these decisions. The minister said that if differences came to light after the coordination committee’s meeting, people would never make the decisions regarding the lockdown seriously. He said that the Sindh government would ensure implementation of the decisions taken by the federal government regarding lockdown across the province.
Shah further said that when Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was told that the people in the province were censuring the Sindh government owing to the imposition of tougher lockdown and that they would not vote for the party in the next elections, the Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party responded by asking the Sindh Chief Minister that he could lose the elections but would not compromise on people’s lives. The provincial Information Minister said that although the decisions taken by the Sindh government were unpopular, but all these decisions were taken for the benefit of the people.
He said that the Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party had also asked the Sindh government to work with the federal government on the issue of Coronavirus from the very outbreak of the pandemic. Regarding controlling inflation, Shah said that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has issued clear instructions to the commissioners of all districts in this regard, directing them to keep an eye on inflation and ensure that prices of essential commodities did not go up.
He said that the Sindh chief minister was trying to ensure that the prices of essential commodities should come down after the fall in prices of oil products. He said that transporters would also be required to reduce their fares. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah also appealed to the people to fully implement the precautionary measures during traveling as intracity transport was being opened across the province. The provincial Information Minister said that from now onwards everyone had to take precautionary measures at all times, adding that this was the only way that they could protect themselves and their loved ones from getting infected with the coronavirus.
Syed Nasir Hussain Shah further said that the Sindh government would have no objection if the services of Pakistan Army were sought for ensuring the implementation of the standard operating procedures. The provincial information minister said the opposition leader in Sindh feared that if the government arranged for his Coronavirus test, it would be a positive by any means. He clarified that he and the Chief Minister of Sindh had also got tested for the detection of coronavirus from Dow Lab.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Transport Minister Owais Shah said that intercity transport would be resumed in all cities of Sindh from Wednesday, June 3, but transporters would be required to strictly follow the standard operating procedures. He said that transporters who did not comply with the standard operating procedures set by the government would not be allowed to operate. The provincial transport minister said that at present intercity transport was not being allowed to operate.
Awais said that detailed discussions had been held with the transporters and they had given full assurance that they will implement the standard operating procedures issued by the government. The Transport Minister further said that the online transport service is also being restored and separate standard operating procedures had been devised for them which were mandatory to be followed. Speaking on the occasion, Barrister Murtaza Wahab urged the people to take precautionary measures as much as possible as the only way to keep oneself safe from the coronavirus was to take precautionary measures.
Wahab said people should now make face masks and sanitizers a part of their lives. He said that the situation regarding coronavirus in the province was very bad as not only the elderly but also a large number of children had been infected with Coronavirus. Wahab said that since transport was also opening up, the principle of social distance must be adopted while traveling. “The Coronavirus is a dangerous fact because there is no cure for it yet,” he said.
For more information, contact:
Sindh Information and Archives Department
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401