Sindh government to reopen one of Pakistan biggest makeshift COVID-19 treatment facilities

Karachi: The Sindh government has decided to reopen one of Pakistan’s biggest makeshift facilities in Karachi to isolate and treat the patients of coronavirus.

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The Field Isolation Centre at the Expo Centre, Karachi was closed in March this year after a constant decline in new coronavirus cases in the country.

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A notification to reopen the Expo Centre’s field isolation facility has been issued by Sindh government’s Health Secretary Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi.

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The notification has been issued on the basis of the decision taken by the Sindh government’s Task Force on coronavirus that recently met with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in chair. The Task Force took the decision as the part of a set of other strict precautionary measures imposed in Sindh due to constant increase in positivity ratio of coronavirus cases.

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The Sindh government in September last year decided to close the field isolation centre but decision remained on hold till March this year as the second wave of coronavirus infections continued in the country.

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The Karachi’s Expo Centre is originally used for hosting trade fairs and exhibitions in the provincial capital as the same events resumed in March after closure of the isolation centre.

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The Karachi’s Expo Centre’s isolation facility earlier remained in operation for 11 months as Pakistan Army had provided especial assistance to establish the 1200-bed makeshift treatment centre. The federal government, corporate sector, charities, and non-governmental organizations constantly provided support to run the facility.

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Nationwide efforts

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The Expo Centre facility was hailed as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s nationwide efforts against the spread of the coronavirus. One of the main purposes of the facility was to house the passengers arriving in the country from abroad after they were diagnosed with the deadly viral disease.

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Special counselling sessions were also held through video conferencing facility for psychological upkeep and fitness of the patients kept there.

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It was inaugurated on April 02, 2020 by the volunteers who enlisted their services to Sindh government in its fight against the COVID-19. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, the then Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Humayun Aziz, and Sindh Heath Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho were also present on the occasion.

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Later in June last year, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah inaugurated a 140-bed High Dependency Unit at the Expo Centre’s facility in a situation when the province desperately needed such critical care facilities for the urgent recovery of the critically ill COVID-19 patients.

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