Murtaza Wahab warns of stricter restrictions in Sindh if SOPs brushed aside – Press Release

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab addressing a press conference in Karachi, on July 19, 2021. — YouTube/HumNewsLive
Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab addressing a press conference in Karachi, on July 19, 2021. — YouTube/HumNewsLive
  • Murtaza Wahab says condition to worsen if hospitals fill up.
  • He urges people to follow SOPs to avoid harsh restrictions.
  • Wahab asks citizens to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab warned Monday the province would be forced to impose stricter restrictions if citizens do not follow coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The spokesperson, addressing a press conference in Karachi, said if people want the government to not impose harsh COVID-19 curbs, then it is imperative that they follow the government’s mandated SOPs.

“If space in hospitals fills up, then the condition will worsen,” he said, adding PTI and MQM-P would then blame the  Sindh government for rising cases.

The spokesperson said the government does not wish to impose restrictions, but if people fail to comply with the SOPs, then it will be left with no other choice. 

Shedding light on the alarming COVID-19 situation, he said in the last 24 hours, Karachi’s infection ratio has reached 23%, which was a mere 8% 10 days back.

“Coronavirus vaccine is available in abundant quantity; citizens should get themselves inoculated,” Wahab added.

Wahab’s warning comes after doctors and health experts urged the government to impose a health emergency in Karachi as hospitals run out of beds to accommodate coronavirus patients.

According to Geo News, various hospitals in Karachi are running out of space due to the fast-spreading Delta variant cases in the financial capital of the country.

The Indus Hospital management told Geo News that their coronavirus ward and emergency has been filled with COVID-19 patients.

Professor Abdul Bari told Geo News that the hospital is adding more beds to accommodate patients.

“The coronavirus situation has gone out of control. People should follow coronavirus SOPs and get themselves vaccinated,” said Dr Bari.

Government officials said that NIPA’s Infectious Diseases Hospital is at full capacity, adding that there was no space for any more patients at the Expo Centre.

Agha Khan Hospital has also started refusing to admit any more patients.

In response to the rise in the number of cases, the Civil Hospital has turned its 48-bed surgical ward into a coronavirus ward, while Jinnah hospital’s chest ward is also being turned into a coronavirus ward.

On the other hand, government officials say that there has been a rise in the number of sick children in government hospitals of Karachi.

Professor Anjum Rehman of the Lyari General Hospital said that children diagnosed with the Delta variant are being admitted at the facility. She added that the hospital was also increasing bed capacity in its coronavirus ward.

Officials also said that coronavirus infections are also on the rise among doctors and medical staff.

Delta variant spreading like ‘wildfire’ in Karachi

The provincial government is likely to take strict measures in the metropolis to curb the fast spread of the Delta variant, which now accounts for 92% of the infection cases, with the positivity ratio exceeding 23%.

An official of the Sindh Health Department told The News that to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Karachi, some strict measures can be decided by the provincial government during the next meeting of the Provincial Taskforce on COVID-19, which is scheduled to meet today.

“Without putting strong non-pharmaceutical interventions in place, COVID’s spread cannot be controlled,” he warned.

‘Karachi heading towards serious medial crisis’

According to the report, the health authorities have started reserving more beds, wards and human resources at two major tertiary-care hospitals in Karachi to deal with the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

“A surgical ward comprising 48 beds is being converted into a COVID-19 ward at the Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), while the pulmonology ward at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) has also been put on standby to deal with the rising cases due to the Delta variant, which is now spreading like wildfire in the city,” a Sindh Health Department official told the publication.

The official said that all the elective surgeries have been cancelled at the CHK to prevent the health care staff from contracting the viral infection, while other elective surgeries and procedures at other medical facilities have also been halted, except for emergencies, adding that Karachi is heading towards “a serious medial crisis”.

Claiming that hospitalisation has increased four times from 390 patients in April to around 1,000 in mid-July, the official said that some COVID-19 treatment facilities, including the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Nipa and the Expo Centre, are already overwhelmed with patients, while other tertiary-care health facilities are also under tremendous pressure.