Army arrives in Sindh to help police implement COVID-19 SOPs


HYDERABAD: Pakistan army soldiers have moved to all divisions of Sindh to assist the civil administration in implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19 in line with National Command Operation Centre`s (NCOC) guidelines.

They have not yet started patrolling roads or the areas with a higher positivity ratio of coronavirus cases. The troops have reached the divisional headquarters of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas and will spread out further wherever they are needed but they have not yet started patrolling, according to ISPR spokesman.

Troops have arrived in the division and will spread out to different areas to assist civil administration by Monday after meeting with the administration,` said Hyderabad commissioner Abbas Baloch.`We are holding a virtual meeting with the home secretary to discuss modalities to ensure implementation of Covid-19 SOPs in line with NCOC`s guidelines,` said the commissioner over the phone.

Reports said that by Sunday evening, troops had reached Tando Mohammad Khan, Dadu, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Umerkot. `Soldiers have to assist the administration on Sindh government`s request to ensure implementation of Covid-19 SOPs,` said an official.

Sukkur commissioner Shafiq Mahesar said that soldiers were stationed in Sukkur and Larkana divisions but they had not yet started patrolling. `We will be working out our plan for implementing Covid-19 SOPs,` he said.

Mahesar, who also holds additional charge of the Larkana division, said: `Positivity ratio is not that high in the two divisions in comparison with Hyderabad or other areas. Sindh home department is discussing it with the administration as far as troops movement and duties are concerned,` he said on phone from Sukkur.

Hyderabad has witnessed a 23pc to 24pc positivity ratio between April 19 and 24. About two dozen localities have been put under smart lockdown, starting from April 25 till May 5 on the directives of civil administration in view of a higher positivity ratio in the hotspots.

13pc positivity ratio was reported on April 25, according to Hyderabad DHO`s report.

Officials of district administration and health department held a meetingonSundaywithHyderabad commissioner in the chair to discuss ways and means to control the spike in coronavirus cases.

The commissioner called for effective measures to prevent the spread of the third wave of coronavirus and stressed efforts for implementing SOPs to save people`s lives from the virus.

He directed officers to sensitise people about vaccination against coronavirus and complete the vaccination of health workers. Awareness should be created among people to follow social distancing, mask-wearing and use of sanitisers, he said.

He said that Hyderabad was the second largest city of Sindh where people from different parts of the province arrive to seek medical care and therefore it would be imperative to increase the capacity of healthcare facilities. A meeting would be convened to review medical facilities in hospitals of other districts of the division, he said.

He said that Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences vice-chancellor Prof Dr Bikha Ram, Hyderabad deputy commissioner Fuad Soomro and DHO should hold a joint meeting to plan the prevention of Covid-19. When health officials raised their issues in the meeting, he assured them that their problems would be resolved on a priority basis.

The meeting discussed a proposal that the Sindh government should be requested to stop the supply of oxygen to industries for the time being so as to avoid a shortage of oxygen in hospitals during an emergency.

The commissioner directed to adopt measures to release test results of coronavirus in a day and advised officials concerned of the health department to keep their morale high and play their role in preventing the spread of the contagion.

Results of PCR tests should be shared the same evening, he said.

DC Soomro informed the meeting that efforts were underway by the district administration to control the spread of the virus while SOPs were being implemented. An isolation centre would soon be set up at Kohsar Hospital in Latifabad, he said.


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