The Sindh government has decided to turn Expo Centre, which is situated on Karachi’s University Road, into a quarantine facility if the coronavirus situation turns more severe in the province.
“We have identified [Expo Centre] and some other spots only as a precautionary measure, if God forbid, the outbreak worsens,” Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said.
He was speaking on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Thursday.
“We have taken necessary measures but people need to be careful as well,” he said.
At least 304 known cases of the virus have been reported in Pakistan so far, of which, 211 are in Sindh. Around 41 cases of local transmission have been reported in the province.
He assured that the provincial government has made isolation wards in Labour department flats near the Northern Bypass that have capacity of 4,000 people and another building in Malir that can accommodate 2,000 people.
Buildings in Hyderabad, Azad Kashmir’s Potli, Nawabshah and Sukkur have also been turned into quarantine centres that can accommodate around 4,500 people altogether.
Shah said the isolation facility of Sukkur is already accommodating around 1,000 people.
The coronavirus test results of 750 more travellers coming from Iran will come on Thursday and Friday.
“We are with the federal government on this issue. We shouldn’t make this issue controversial,” Shah said.
“The chief minister has told us to recruit as many doctors and paramedic staff as we can.”
The minister said 60 trained paramedics have been sent to screen passengers at the airport.
Shah did, however, regret that things could’ve been much better across the country had the prime minister swung into action on February 26 when the first coronavirus case was reported in Sindh, and not on March 13.