KARACHI: Urging the Sindh government to enhance the COVID-19 testing in the province, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief of mission in Pakistan Dr Palitha Mahipala on Thursday said testing, contact tracing and quarantine is the best policy to contain the spread of coronavirus, especially in Karachi, where positivity of cases is continuously above 20 percent.
Discussing the possibilities of increasing the testing capacity and WHO support, Dr Palitha Mahipala, who called on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, extended all WHO required support and announced to donate 10,000 viral transport mediums to the Sindh health department to help the labs in conducting Covid-19 tests.
The meeting was attended by provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, PSCM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Dr Kazim Jatoi and Head of Office, WHO Sindh, Dr Sara Salman.
The WHO representative in Pakistan also discussed the education campaign to implement public health measures, which include wearing of masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, for which WHO and the Sindh health department will work together and start campaign from August 13, 2021.
Talking to the WHO delegation, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah said that his government, under the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), was making all-out efforts to contain the fourth wave of Covid-19 in the province.
During the meeting, the Sindh chief minister and WHO delegation discussed the Covid-19 situation in the country, particularly in Sindh besides the measures taken by the provincial government to control the situation. The chief minister said every day around 20,000 PCR tests were conducted in the province from which over 10 percent of patients were being detected. He added that out of over 48,000 total Covid patients, 1,463 have been admitted to hospitals.
About the vaccination drives in the province, Murad Ali Shah said that so far 8,599,197 doses of vaccines have been administered, which means over 25 percent eligible population had been covered so far. “We are administering over 200,000 vaccines every day,” he said.
Dr Mahipala admired the efforts of the Sindh Province to contain the situation. He said that there was a need to launch a campaign to educate people to implement the public health measures, which include wearing of masks, ensuring social distancing, and hand hygiene. The WHO and the Health department agreed to work together to start the campaign from August 13, 2021.
Discussing the possibilities of increasing testing capacity in Sindh, Dr Palitha Mahipala assured his full support and announced to donate 10,000 viral transport mediums to the Sindh government.
The chief minister, Dr Palitha and provincial health minister discussed the case management of Covid cases. Dr Palitha appreciated the training programme conducted so far and vowed to extend the WHO support for capacity building of senior clinicians in Sindh to further improve the case management. The WHO appraised the Sindh government on donation of ventilators, ICU beds, cardiac monitors and pulse oximeters, IPC and lab supplies, which were handed over to improve the health system capacity in Sindh.