Pechuho warns of lockdowns in Karachi if COVID-19 situation worsens

A health official checks the body temperature of a passenger amid concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus, at Karachi Cantonment railway station in Karachi. — AFP/File

Sindh government can impose lockdowns in select areas of Karachi if the coronavirus situation worsens, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho warned Thursday. 

The health minister said the Sindh government had recommended banning inter-provincial transport; however, the National Command and Operations Centre had rejected the suggestion.

Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho speaking during a video message. — Facebook/nibdpk/File

Due to the third wave of coronavirus — and as the country witnesses a spike in COVID-19 related deaths — Dr Pechuho noted the burden on the health system is rising.

Sindh has recorded an overall 275,081 coronavirus cases, 4,562 deaths, while 261,298 people have recovered from the disease, according to official statistics.

UK virus variant in Karachi

A day earlier, Dr Pechuho had said that the highly infectious UK variant of coronavirus had reached Karachi, in a sobering video message on Twitter.

The health minister had said that of the samples tested from patients in the city, 50% turned up positive for the British variant of the virus.

Pechuho had said that the UK coronavirus variant “spreads very fast” and after having already spread in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, leading to the deaths and infections of numerous people, it has now reached Karachi.

Dr Pechuho had said that owing to it being the month of Ramadan and the Eid-ul-Fitr festival approaching, a lot of people are getting out for shopping.

She had said that at such a dangerous time when the UK variant is spreading, it is of the utmost importance that safety precautions be taken.

“Do follow SOPs and do not leave your homes unless absolutely necessary,” said the health minister.

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