Six hundred of the 1,065 people who were quarantined at the Labour Colony in Sukkur have been sent back home so far, according Sukkur Mayor Arsalan Sheikh.
“The remaining people are still in quarantine and are being tested for the coronavirus,” he said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Wednesday.
The mayor explained that when people are brought to the centre from the Taftan border, their symptoms are checked by health teams in Sukkur. “Those with greater symptoms are shifted to isolation wards and those with fewer symptoms are kept separately,” he said.
A team of doctors and paramedics from Aga Khan University Hospital and the Indus Hospital in Karachi then come and conducts tests. “It takes two to three days for the test results to come out after which those who tested negative are sent back home,” Sheikh explained.
“The people who have tested positive for COVID-19 are shifted into isolation wards where they stay for 14 days,” he said adding that these people are tested again on the 14th day.
“The entire concept of isolation and quarantine was new and several things had to be tackled, such as providing these people food and water etc,” Sheikh said.
Last week, pilgrims at Sukkur’s quarantine centre had come out of their wards protesting against the government. To this, the mayor said that these people were frustrated because they were away from their families. “They had already spent 15 days at the Taftan border as well,” he said.
“To ensure their well-being we have provided them internet services and have also introduced apps and websites through which they can tell us about things they want,” the mayor said.
He added that recently, around 100 to 150 people, including government officials in Sukkur, were tested for the virus. “Our results are expected to come out a day or two,” he said.