Karachi facemasks shopping clothes
In this picture taken on May 20, 2020, people wearing facemasks shop for clothes at a market ahead of the Eid Al Fitr festival which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Karachi. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, has urged people to stay home this Eid Al Fitr and celebrate the religious festival solemnly and with simplicity maintaining social distancing.

While addressing a press conference in Karachi, the chief minister said people often called him one who was spreading scary news. “I only try to show the realistic picture of things,” said the chief minister.

Pakistan on Friday reported 50,694 confirmed cases of coronavirus of which 19,926 are in Sindh alone. Total number of deaths caused so far is reported to be at 1,067 while 15,201 have recovered from the virus.

Results of SC’s decision to be visible in 14 days

On the Supreme Court’s decision of opening shopping malls and markets, Sindh chief minister said its result will be visible in 14 days.

The number might grow in the coming days and emergency measures are being taken to tackle any untoward situation, said the chief minister.

He said people were freely shopping with little regard of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which could result in further spread of coronavirus and unleash a catastrophe, he said.

Don’t go to villages for Eid celebrations

He asked the people not to travel to their home towns or villages for Eid so the spread of the virus could be contained. He said the spread of COVID-19 in cities has already overburdened the health system of the country. If the virus spreads in villages, where health resources were scarce and access to facilities was difficult, it would be tough for the government to cope with the crisis.

Dedicate Eid to frontline health workers

The chief minister said talk of new clothes and shoes this Eid was unreasonable and asked people not to go shopping for new clothes. Shah said he too would also not wear new clothes on Eid. “I was surprised to hear comments like ‘you may not want to wear new clothes, others might,” and thought how it would look if I got new clothes while a daily wage worker who was affected was unable to do so.

“It would be most appropriate if we dedicate this Eid to our brave frontline health workers who are risking their lives and are working day and night looking after the coronavirus patients.

“All the doctors, paramedics, nurses, ward boys, police and other security officials are our heroes and we should dedicate our Eid to these brave sons and daughters of the soil” he said.

Financial package for the families

The chief minister also announced that a proposal to provide compensation packages to families of doctors, health workers, police and security officials who died because of the virus, would be tabled before his cabinet.

He said the provincial government was already giving packages to policemen who lay down their lives in the line of duty. A similar package would be approved for doctors as well. “The package will be for doctors working in government as well as private hospitals,” he added.

Seven doctors in Sindh have so far died due to novel coronavirus while nurses and paramedical staff have also been reported losing their lives to the deadly virus.

The chief minister further said that 274 policemen were infected, out of which 50 have recovered. Five officials have died, he said.