Cases of local transmission of Covid-19 emerging, though slowly.

Byline: Mohammad Hussain Khan

HYDERABAD -- Cases of local transmission of coronavirus have started surfacing, gradually though, in different districts as eight deaths were reported across Sindh on Sunday.

According to Sindh health department's daily Covid-19 situation report dated April 16, 20 districts of the province are now infected with the virus but bulk of coronavirus patients came from Tableeghi Jamaat members who had started testing positive since third week of March in several districts of Sindh.

The districts' authorities that are still engaged with the issues of quarantine, isolation and transportation of the recovered Jamaat patients have not yet been able to fully concentrate on infected persons' local contacts for fear it may upset the applecart at the moment.

Many Jamaat men are still in quarantine or isolation centres in Hyderabad, Khairpur, Ghotki, MirpurAkhas, Nawabshah and Sukkur districts. Many have recovered and headed home after official clearance.

A Karachi-based health official said that Hyderabad, Larkana, Khairpur and Ghotki districts are considered to be 'hot spots' for Covid-19 spread.

A pattern of local transmission, however, appears to be in the making and this may lead to a serious situation. The administration and health authorities are very much aware of the risks.

After a suspect tested positive for the virus a couple of days back when he was arrested Hyderabad City police, his son too has tested positive. Another suspect arrested by A-Section police station Latifabad tested positive on Sunday.

'What happens next is grim. Around 45 policemen had to be quarantined afterwards as precautionary measure,' said a source in the administration.

He feared if policemen started getting infected due to local transmission while performing duties without personal protective equipment (PPEs) who would be there to enforce the lockdown measures and perform other security related matters for quarantine and isolation facilities.

Hyderabad district has lately seen much of its burden reduced after many Jamaat followers recovered and left for hometowns but the emergence of new cases of local transmission have alerted health authorities and administration.

Given trend of cases - eight deaths in 24 hours and 182 fresh cases as claimed by Sindh government on Sunday - authorities here and in other districts are no more taking things lightly.

'We are in the process of readying field isolation centres in Hyderabad Club and Sindh...

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