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Coronavirus: Sindh govt bans elective surgeries in hospitals to save oxygen

Representational image of a hospital’s coronavirus ward. Photo: File.
  • Sindh govt bans elective surgeries across all public and private hospitals to save oxygen.
  • Decision taken to address the possibility of oxygen shortage in the province amid the rising number of coronavirus cases.
  • Govt clarifies that surgeries in emergency cases will continue per usual.

Owing to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the province and the possible shortage of oxygen in hospitals that might ensue if the situation persists, the Government of Sindh Monday issued directives to ban elective surgeries.

Taking to Twitter, Sindh Government Spokesperson Murtaza Wahab announced that the decision has been taken as a precaution. 

“The #SindhGovt has decided to impose a complete ban on elective surgeries in public as well as private hospitals,” he wrote. “It is clarified that surgeries in emergency cases will continue #SaveOxygen.”

Earlier today, the Sindh government had ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and universities amid the COVID-19 surge. The government also announced that all public offices will operate with an essential staff of 20% only.

Pakistan’s coronavirus tally crosses 800,000 mark

The decision by the provincial government came after 70 more people succumbed to coronavirus in Pakistan.

The new deaths took the nationwide COVID-19 death toll to 17,187, while over 4,800 new infections have been reported across the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data showed.

As per the official data, 50,161 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, from which 4,825 tests returned positive.

The positivity rate of coronavirus in Pakistan stands at 9.61% as of today (Monday) whereas the number of active cases stands at 89,219.

The new cases have taken the national tally of positive cases to 800,452 with 285,542 reported in Punjab, 290,788 in Sindh, 114,077 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 72,613 in Islamabad, 21,743 in Balochistan, 16,591 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 5,258 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Highest single-day death toll

Pakistan on Saturday reported 157 deaths due to COVID-19, making it the country’s highest single-day death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.

Previously, the highest death toll reported by the country was 153 on June 20 last year.

Govt seeks army’s help in implementation of COVID-19 SOPs

The Federal Ministry for Interior on Sunday had issued a notification stating that Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the Islamabad Capital Territory will (in accordance with their needs) seek the help of the Pakistan Army to strictly implement the coronavirus SOPs. The orders, however, do not apply to Sindh.

The Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed had made the announcement and said that the decision to seek the assistance of the armed forces was taken during a meeting of the National Coordination Committee for Coronavirus on Friday, April 23, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

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