Karachi, July 04, 2020 (PPI-OT): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday decided to convert 8,672 isolation beds into HDU beds in more than two phases and to purchase more ventilators, more HDU beds with low and high oxygen arrangements. This he decided while presiding over a Taskforce meeting on COVID-19 at the CM House in Karachi, the metropolis of Sindh.
The meeting was attended by ministers of health, local government, education, excise and taxation; advisor law, mayor Karachi, chief secretary, ACS Home, PSCM, DG Rangers, IGP Sindh, Brig Hussain of Corps 5, Commissioner Karachi, provincial secretaries, representatives of WHO, FIA, Pakistan Navy, UNICEF, Dr Faisal, Dr Bari, Mushtaq Chhapra and other concerned.
It may be noted that at present, the Sindh government has 503 ICU beds with ventilators and 1810 HDU beds. Shah said that his government had tested 300,247 samples from June 1 to July 23 against which 62,476 cases of coronavirus were detected while during the corresponding period Punjab conducted 286,049 tests and detected 54,057 cases, KPK 93,377 tests and detected 17,479 cases, Islamabad 90,557 tests and detected 10,703, Gilgit Baltistan 5,100 tests and detected 825 cases, Balochistan 26,008 test and detected 6324 cases and AJK 10351 tests and detected 959 cases. “This shows the Sindh government compared to other provinces has performed better.”
Shah said that the comparison with other provinces was not aimed at criticizing them but it was being made to assess and evaluate the performance of the Sindh government. He added that from June 1 to July 3, 2020, some 28 deaths were reported in AJK, 75 in Balochistan, 17 in Gilgit Baltistan, 102 in Islamabad, 529 in KPK, 1347 in Punjab and 987 in Sindh.
“This is clear that our death rate is lower in term of patients and population than the province,” he said and added the recovery rate in Sindh was better than the others province such as during the said period 518 patients recovered in AJK, 3824 in Balochistan, 689 in Gilgit Baltistan, 8441 in Islamabad, 12608 KPK, 35833 Punjab and 37098 in Sindh. “Our fatality rate has been recorded at 1.57 percent, while Punjab has 2.49 percent, KPK 3.03 percent, Gilgit Baltistan 2.06 percent, Balochistan 1.19 percent and AJK 2.2 percent. “If the fatality rate is compared keeping in view the number of patients and population of the province, Sindh has the lowest rate because of a better healthcare system,” he said.
Giving a comparative analysis of tests per million population, Shah comparing the Sindh government has edge over other countries of the region. He said that we [Sindh] have tested 10,047 people per million while Pakistan’s per million tests came to 6,115, India 6,737, Bangladesh 4,981, Sri Lanka 5,160 and Afghanistan 1,908.
He said that the testing capacity which was only 80 per day in February 2020 was increased to 300, then to 1,200, 4,200, 6,500, 8,750, 1,1450 and now 1,4050 which itself was a record of a provincial government with meagre resources. Shah giving an analysis of three weeks of June said that in the second week of June, 51,086 samples were tested which detected 15,221 cases and cured 8916 patients. In the third week of June 67,534 samples were tested which diagnosed 15,095 cases and cured 10702 patients. In the fourth week of June, 34,344 samples were tested which produced 7,975 cases and cured 7110 patients.
Talking about the first week of July, Shah said that 18,934 samples were tested which detected 4,806 cases and cured 3988. This shows that we kept enhancing testing capacity, educated people about the Sops and succeeded in bringing down the detection rate and enhancing the recovery rate. “This is the success story of our policy and better healthcare system,” he said.
Talking about challenges, Shah said that under current prevalence, it was impossible to predict how many cases were actually there in a defined geographical area. The majority of cases are asymptomatic (more than 80 percent), he said and added every country has faced issues to implement SOPs and relaxation follow up.
The CM said that they could not screen everybody, therefore, had adopted a policy of targeted screening. He added that one-time screening was not an option but with continued exposure, one-time screening could never be sufficient. “We don’t have unlimited resources; therefore, we have to allocate resources where minimum expenditure on health could be ensured.
Shah giving an example of the district East said that in Gulshan Town, 247 and in Jamshed Town, 214 cases were detected on June 17 when the selective lockdown was started. On July 2, when selective lockdown was lifted 283 cases were detected in Gulshan Town and 90 cases in Jamshed Town. During the lockdown period, 66 patients recovered in Gulshan Town and 187 in Jamshed Town. It means lockdown has turned out to be the only option to contain the cases.
The chief minister decided to purchase more ventilators, more HDU beds with low and high oxygen arrangements. The meeting decided to convert 8,672 isolation beds into HDU beds in more than two phases. He urged minister health to take necessary measures to reduce death from strokes, pulmonary embolism and seizures.
For more information, contact:
Chief Minister House, Sindh
Tel: +92-21-99202019 (Ext: 336)