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COVID-19 situation in Sindh not improving: Asad Umar

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said on Friday that the coronavirus situation in Sindh has not improved which is a matter of concern for the government and more consultations will be held to review the measures.

The federal minister, in a statement, said that Pakistan’s COVID-19 cases tally can remain under 400,000 if health guidelines and SOPs are followed and added that the death rate is also declining in the country.

Since the past few days only 5% people tested positive for the virus, he said.

Attributing the drop in the number of infections to the masses following SOPs and preventive measures such as the smart lockdown, Umar said that in the mid of June, the federal capital had been reporting around 700 cases daily.

“In Islamabad, the administration, police and staff did a marvellous job,” he said, adding that measure will also be undertaken in Karachi to improve the situation.

“More work can be done in Sindh and a consultation will be held over this in the evening,” said Asad Umar, lamenting that the situation in Sindh and Karachi did not seem to be improving.

Expressing satisfaction over the situation, the minister mentioned that Islamabad reported only 113 positive cases in the last day.

Umar said that the situation is improving during the pandemic as the SOPs are being followed and the government will ensure that the implementation remains on track.

Decline in testing

It is pertinent to mention that testing across the country has also reportedly reduced since last month.

The capacity of holding coronavirus tests has reduced by 50% in Sindh as staffers responsible for conducting these tests in hospitals, laboratories and medical centres have drastically reduced after being infected from the COVID-19.

In Sindh, about 13,890 tests were conducted on June 21, 9,841 tests were carried out on June 22 and the number was further reduced to only 6,597 tests on June 23.

The Sindh Health Department did not release the data on June 23, however, according to the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, about 7,400 tests were conducted in the province on June 24.

Likewise, at the end of June, Punjab’s test numbers for the novel coronavirus registered a noticeable decline, but officials say the reduction is due to a change in policy and not caused by a decline in testing capacity.

It was reported that Punjab recorded its highest daily tally of tests, 11,739, only on one day, June 17. After which, test numbers in the province have been on a downward spiral, dropping as low at 7,731 during the last week.

Pakistan as of today recorded more than 220,000 cases of the virus and above 4,500 deaths.

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