Will Sindh government follow the federal government’s strategy to combat COVID-19?

Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to preside over a meeting of the NCC to outline the policy to combat the COVID-19. One of the most important question at the moment is: Will the Sindh government follow a strategy devised by the federal government?

Sindh government

The Sindh government spokesperson, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, on Monday said that the provincial government will implement the federal government’s strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Murtaza said: “Today CM Murad attended a National Com­mand and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting at 10:00 am. He will also meet the prime minister and others later today to present his point of view. But for the sake of the country, we will implement [in Sindh] whatever the federal government decides going forward.”

Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

In his daily briefing on the province’s coronavirus situation, Murad revealed that 187,092 tests have been conducted so far, adding that 342 patients were in critical condition. With the new cases, Sindh’s tally has risen to 29,647 while the death toll has reached 503.

Read More: COVID-19: Is Sindh government going to enforce smart lockdown?

Lamenting that the Sindh government’s strategy of “strict lockdown” was undermined by the federal government from day one, Murtaza said that it was unfortunate that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders were hurling threats at the provincial government.

“Unfortunately, due to the mixed messaging by the central government, the common man is still in denial and says ‘there is no such thing as corona’,” he said. “Irresponsible statements by the government have resulted in a spike in both new cases and deaths,” the spokesperson added.

Cases are likely to increase, Dr. Zafar Mirza

Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza has urged people not to let their guard down against coronavirus, as the number of cases and deaths as a result of COVID-19 in Pakistan could increase in coming days.

Giving media briefing in Islamabad, he said situation regarding availability of ventilators and beds across the country is under control.

Read More: PM IK was right: Sindh government to ease lockdown?

The Special Assistant said 18 to 20 percent out of the total number of ventilators are in use at the moment. He said National Command and Operation Centre is closely watching the situation and will adopt strategy accordingly in consultation with various stakeholders.

Dr. Zafar Mirza said people could not grasp the situation regarding lockdown. He said a new instruction guide has been issued for the people who die of corona.

Government’s confused policy?

It is worth noting that the Supreme Court of Pakistan not only ordered the reopening of shopping malls but also noted that Pakistan “is not … seriously affected” by Covid-19 and that there is no pandemic in the country. However, Pakistan has had at least 43,966 confirmed cases and more than 900 deaths since March, and the numbers keep rising. At least 500 Pakistani healthcare workers have been infected too, which shows that the country has been hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read More: Will Sindh government focus on upgrading health facilities across the province?

Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned an NCC meeting on June 1st  [today] to review the country’s lockdown strategy and the trends of COVID-19 in Pakistan. Federal ministers, chief ministers and others will attend the meeting. Notably, experts in Pakistan have warned against the premature easing of lockdown restrictions, fearing an exponential rise in infections. One healthcare worker said: “Everyone’s scared and exhausted. But we are fighting, we are pushing the limits. All we ask is that the government and people understand that they can help us help them by staying at home and providing us quality protective gear.”

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