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Monday Mar 23 2020
Web Desk

Coronavirus outbreak: The good and the bad news from Sindh

Web Desk

There's good news and then, there's bad news about the novel coronavirus that continues to spread in Pakistan as the days pass by. So far, more than 300 people in Sindh have tested positive for the virus while the overall toll of affected persons has risen to over 750 in Pakistan.

Sindh government representative Murtaza Wahab said in an interview that the good news was that 90% of the people who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic. This means that they do not suffer from the typical coronavirus symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and breathing difficulties. This is good news as these people recover from the virus after a little over than a week from the virus.

Here's the catch, and the bad news though. These 90%, who do not show symptoms of the disease, do not pay heed to the government's appeals to practice social distancing and quarantine themselves. As a result, they pass on the coronavirus to the other 10% who, due to age or other medical ailments, suffer from severe breathing problems when they contract the coronavirus.

"They [the asymptomatic coronavirus carriers] think they are fine since there are no symptoms and yet are the ones who are spreading it the most," said Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah.

Out of the 10% who contract the virus, an estimated 3-5% are expected to die, depending on the quality of the health system and other factors.

The most reponsible thing to do, at this point in time, would be to practice self-isolation and heeding the guidelines from the government so that those who are old, weak and suffer from any medical ailments, survive the pandemic.

Sindh government imposes province-wide lockdown 

The Sindh government on Monday imposed a lockdown across the province to ensure people do not venture out of their homes unnecessarily. 

"After 12am tonight [Sunday night], Sindh will undergo a lockdown," the chief minister had said earlier. "People will not be allowed to venture out of their homes unnecessarily."

CM Murad had said earlier if citizens needed to go to the hospital, only three persons would be allowed to travel in a car.

Step taken 'in the interest of the people'

In an earlier statement issued after a meeting, the chief minister had said the government was taking this important decision in the interest of people and hoped that the public would support the government.

The provincial authorities also sought help from the army to ensure compliance of its orders after the chief minister’s appeal on Friday to the masses to stay indoors was ignored.

Sindh is struggling to contain the coronavirus, as it has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases as far as provinces are concerned, with the total tally rising to over 300.