KARACHI: The hostels near and outside the metropolis should be evacuated, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said late Wednesday, directing Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Ali Shallwani to ensure the task was carried out.
Speaking to Geo News, Ghani explained that if the number of coronavirus patients rose, then those hostels would be utilised as isolation camps and quarantine facilities.
“The panic over the virus and the speed at which the number of cases is growing, it is obvious that we cannot accommodate patients in all the hospitals,” he said. “May God not take us to such a stage but, if need be, the provincial government will distribute masks to citizens.
“We will try our best to create awareness about the precautions [against coronavirus] among the people,” he said, adding that it was not a disease that took lives immediately.
‘No need to panic’
Earlier today, Ghani had announced the closure of all schools across Sindh on Thursday and Friday (Feb 27-28) as “a preventive measure”. The move came moments after Balochistan announced the same but till March 15.
Late Wednesday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza had confirmed that two coronavirus cases were reported in Pakistan. “Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable,” he had said.
Dr Mirza had also emphasised that there was “no need to panic [as] things are under control” and that no one should “share information of the patient”.
The patient in Karachi, as well as his family, was immediately placed in quarantine at a private hospital on the National Stadium Road while the one in Islamabad was moved to the capital’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).