A group of medics and health experts from China met Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday to share Beijing's experience in containing the novel coronavirus, which has so far infected more than 4,200 people in Pakistan and left above 60 dead.
As of the filing of this report, the provincial government had conducted 758 new tests, of which 50 samples were diagnosed as positive. The number of totals tests had risen to 10,981, as opposed to 10,223 the day before.
The nine-member delegation of medical experts from China, headed by Ma Minghui, urged Chief Minister Shah to continue ensuring that people were practising social distancing as it was one of the key measures to make sure the virus did not spread. A strict lockdown in the People's Republic helped bring everything under control, they added.
The visiting delegation underscored that food ration distribution drives should also be carried out in isolation as crowds of any kind would destroy the efforts being taken to curb the virus spread.
The chief minister responded by saying he had ordered closure of all government offices, schools, business centres, factories, and public transport. "This is why we have contained it but still we have to do more measures to save our people,” he noted.
Shah lamented that a shortage of testing kits and equipment made it difficult for the provincial government to conduct tests on everyone. "We are testing those who have travel history and family members of the positive cases” for now, he explained.
The health experts assured CM Shah that they would provide expertise and other equipment to the provincial government.
Speaking during his daily video briefing from the CM House, the chief minister said 50 more cases of coronavirus had been detected in Sindh, bringing the provincial tally to 1,036, while two patients passed away over the past 24 hours, raising the provincial toll to 20.
The number of totals tests has risen to 10,981, as opposed to 10,223 the day before. Of the 1,036 who had tested positive for the coronavirus, 382 were in self-isolation and 97 at isolation centers, he said. Another 257 were being treated at different hospitals throughout the province.
At least 637 of the 1036 cases were locally transmitted, Shah noted.
Starting from one case of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, on February 26, the number shot to 1,000 in 30 days, as of March 25, he added.
A week later, on April 1, the number of cases rose to 2,000, and in less than a week from the month's start, they shot to 3,000. A day later, as of April 8, Pakistan's tally of positive cases has gone beyond 4,000, he underlined, adding that the strategy, therefore, must be based on ground realities.
The chief minister once again urged people to observe social distancing measures as advised by experts. He added that it was critical to ensure that laws and advice must be followed during the remaining days under the lockdown as the restrictions would be eased by April 14.