KARACHI: A meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus was held in Karachi on Thursday with Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in the chair to workout plan for distributing ration bags among poor people of the province.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister directed the concerned authorities to distribute two million ration bags among the poor people.
He also directed to setup hospital and isolation ward of 10,000 beds at Expo Centre in Karachi with the help of Pakistan Army.
During the meeting, Corps Commander Karachi assured full support and help by the armed forces in this regard.
“The Sindh government, owing to on-going partial lock down in the province, has decided to distribute 2000,000 ration bags among poor segment of society so that their squares meals arrangement continues,” Murad Shah said.
Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Humayun Aziz, DG Rangers Major General Omar Bukhari and Brigadier Sami of Corps 5 were also present on this occasion. The chief minister was assisted by provincial ministers, Dr Azra Pechuho, Saeed Ghani, Murtaza Wahab, Secretary Mumtaz Shah, IG Sindh Mushtaq Maher, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro and Focal Person MB Dharejo.
At the outset, the CM briefed the meeting about the measures he had taken to contain further spread of coronavirus. “With the closure of malls, restaurants or what it is being termed as partial lock down we have tried to slow down the spread so that necessary arrangements for establishing Isolation centers and field hospitals could be made accordingly,” he said.
Humayun Aziz appreciated timely efforts of the provincial government and emphasized on the need of providing ration to the daily wagers, poor people so that their food requirement could continue.
Murad Shah said that he has already held a number of meetings with the philanthropists, NGOs like Edhi, Saylani and others to seek their help and guidance for preparation of ration bags and development of mechanism to provide ration bags to the needy and deserving people.
He and corps commander decided to constitute a committee under Minister Labour Saeed Ghani with Commissioner Karachi and Additional Secretary Health Aleem Lashari while from Corps-5 Brigadier Sami and his two team members will be in the committee. The committee will decide the quantity of food items for ration and then develop a mechanism for their distribution.
A warehouse to store ration bags would be established from where onward supply of the bags all over Sindh would be made. The quality of food items and their quantity as agreed by the committee would be ensured. However, it was decided that the ration bag would have a one-month food items.
It was also decided that the house where ration bags would be supplied would be marked as `supplied’ so that duplication could be avoided. It was also decided that a help line would be set up where deserving people would get themselves registered for ration bags and then after necessary verification ration bags would be supplied.
The meeting also decided that a 10,000-beded Isolation Center and hospital would be established in Expo Center with the support of Corps 5. Commissioner Karachi would coordinate with the Pak army for the purpose.
In the first phase one hall of the Expo Center would be converted into Isolation Center and then more halls would be acquired. In the first hall beds, medicines, necessary equipments posting of doctors and para medical staff etc would be made available.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had made over 16000 swabs/VTMs and 13000 kits available to test coronavirus infection in the province. “But, we will have to enhance our testing capacity which is limited to only 600.”