Sindh blasts Centre’s pathetic efforts to fight coronavirus

Wahab says federal govt’s monitoring failed to detect 14 confirmed cases

By: News Desk      Published: 04:10 PM, 11 Mar, 2020
Sindh blasts Centre’s pathetic efforts to fight coronavirus

The Sindh government on Wednesday came down hard on the federal government for not doing enough in the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

Sindh Government Spokesman Murtaza Wahab said that it is due to the federal government’s apathy that the 14 passengers (confirmed cases) sneaked through the Centre’s mechanism and mixed into the populace instead of being sent to the isolation wards at the hospital.

He said that around 2,300 passengers came to Karachi airport since January 15, adding that 188 underwent test and 14 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

Speaking to the newsmen at the press conference, Murtaza Wahab said: “There is an impression among people that most of the coronavirus-related cases are being reported from Sindh.”

“Now the general impression is that most of the cases are being reported from Sindh. But it might have two aspects. The first is the unrelenting determination that we’ve been showing in order to control the spread of the deadly virus. The second is even more serious. It is the federal government’s callousness.”

Wahab said that all these 14 people who landed at Karachi Airport should have been monitored at the airport. “Had the federal government established a swift mechanism for surveillance at the airport, those 14 passengers would have been sent directly to the isolation wards from the airport instead of mixing with the populace.”

The spokesman said that the Sindh government is deadly serious about the issue and the CM Sindh conducts daily meetings of the task force at the CM House. “CM Sindh has already pointed out to the federal officers about the negligence regarding the seaport mechanism,” Wahab said and added: “It’s essential to improve the monitoring in both the air and seaports, both of which are under the federal control as we have no authority over it.”

Lashing out at the federal government, the Sindh spokesman said that it is unfortunate that the Centre did not seem attentive to this emergency situation. He quoted a writer to further make his point who recently came to Karachi from Saudi Arabia, “Today, a renowned personality, a writer, came to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia, who tweeted afterwards that she was allowed to enter without any monitoring.”

He said Sindh chief minister had tried to contact the prime minister several times but could not succeed.

While grilling the PTI government, he said it is mostly active on Twitter and social media, Wahab suggested that the prime minister should supervise the coronavirus himself, adding “The airport authorities should ensure stricter standards of surveillance for the incoming passengers.”

On a question about the whereabouts and details of the infected people, Wahab said: “13 are in quarantine and it is not appropriate at this time to reveal their identities or any details about them.”

When asked why the schools and colleges are closed while PSL is taking place, Wahab said: “We cannot view the two matters with the same angle as going out for a PSL match or coming to this press conference is an optional matter, while going to the educational institutions is mandatory.”

He said that the continued closure of the educational institutions is causing extreme damage, and the Sindh government would decide about it in the coming days.

While criticizing the federal government which he suggested to “come out of Twitter,” he consoled that so far the situation is under control relating to coronavirus spread.

Sindh to monitor borders

The Sindh government has decided to monitor the inter-provincial borders, 24NewsHD.tv reported.

It has been decided to screen people coming from other provinces into Sindh aimed at collecting relevant information.

It is pertinent to mention that Sindh has 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Pak-Afghan border at Chaman remained closed on the 10th consecutive day due to the fear of novel coronavirus.

Case in Skardu

Another coronavirus case was reported in Pakistan, as a spokesperson for the Gilgit-Baltistan government said a 14-year-old boy had been tested positive.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has jumped to 20 after this case.

The boy hails from Skardu, but it is not clear yet whether he has travelled out of Pakistan recently or not. If he hasn’t, it could mean community spread, which is an alarming situation.

The first coronavirus case of Gilgit-Baltistan – reported on March 5 – was a 45-year-old woman with a travel history of Iran.