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Karachi reports highest number of virus cases as social distancing ignored in slums

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KARACHI: At least 269 cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded here in the port city over the past 24 hours, marking the highest number of patients across Sindh, as social distancing continued to fall on deaf ears in slums.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said the province reported 341 new patients over the past 24 hours but that there was no social distancing in the economic hub’s slums despite serious efforts, causing cases to rise day by day.

It is noteworthy, however, that following social distancing in the katchi abadis, or informal settlements, was next to impossible as slums are highly-populated areas, with closely-knit communities and people often living in cramped spaces with inadequate facilities.

Of Karachi’s 269 cases, 90 were in the East district, 50 in South, 40 in Korangi, 39 in West, 30 in Malir, and 20 in Central. The city had on Sunday reported 301 of the province’s 383 new cases.

Death toll at 1.7%

Over the past 24 hours, Sindh has carried out 2,733 tests, of which 341 were diagnosed as positive, translating into a rate of 12.6%, CM Shah said. To date, the provincial health department has conducted 43,949 tests, of which 4,956 (11.2%) have tested positive in total, he added.

The chief minister said four more patients lost their lives, bumping up Sindh’s death toll from the novel coronavirus to 85, or 1.7%, of the total patients. However, 24 patients’ condition was critical and another 16 were on ventilators.

With regard to those under treatment, he said 2,705 (68%) of the 3,946 were in self-isolation, 825 (21%) at isolation centers, and 416 (11%) in various different hospitals.

Across the province, on the other hand, 23 cases were reported in Khairpur, 12 each in Larkana and Hyderabad, eight in Ghotki, four in Sukkur, three in Dadu, two in Matiari, and one each in Jacobabad and Umerkot.

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