Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah met with private hospital heads on Tuesday and appealed for their help in fighting COVID-19 in the province.
“I will need your expertise in this fight,” Shah said during the meeting with hospital executive directors and CEOs. “It’s a big fight and the government can’t do it alone.”
I want to take you all onboard, the chief minister said, as the total number of COVID-19 patients in Sindh reached 986.
Around 54 new cases were confirmed in the morning, said the health department. These included 45 new cases of local transmission in Karachi, seven new cases of local transmission in Tando M Khan and one new case each in Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad.
One death was also reported in Karachi on Tuesday. The death toll from the virus now stands at 18, according to the Sindh health department.
Sixteen patients recovered from the virus in Karachi bringing the total recoveries to 269 in the province.
However, only 10,233 COVID-19 tests have been carried out.
We are unable to carry out the number of tests we should be doing because of the shortage of kits, the chief minister said. He told the private sector that extra beds had been arranged in public hospitals for patients though the government’s resources were scarce.
“All private hospitals are ready to help the Sindh government,” said Dr Asim of Ziauddin Hospital.
However, we need personal protective equipment, medicines and testing kits, said Dr Salman Farid of Liaquat National Hospital. If the government helps us with supplies we will be able to treat patients at lower costs.
Trauma surgeon Dr Junaid Shah lauded the Sindh government’s efforts and reminded them that COVID-19 positive patients shouldn’t be sent to regular hospitals.
Chinese experts suggest further extension of lockdown
Meanwhile a delegation of Chinese doctors and paramedical professionals met on Tuesday Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho to discuss the province’s response to COVID-19.
Testing needs to be increased to eliminate the virus, they said. The health experts also suggested that the government extend the duration of the lockdown to fight the virus.
They said China was under lockdown for eight weeks as they identified patients.
The delegation also reiterated its promise to train Pakistani doctors and health professionals treating COVID-19 patients.