Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah speaks to a passenger after giving him a mask. Image Credit: Supplied

Karachi: After warning that his government would take tough measures against COVID-19 if the public didn’t adopt the due safety precautions, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah himself boarded a public bus in Karachi and distributed face masks among passengers.

The CM boarded a bus of the newly launched Sindh People’s Intra-District Bus Service from the Metropole stop in downtown Karachi and travelled with the passengers for some time.

He was accompanied by Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, and Karachi’s Administrator Murtaza Wahab. The sudden appearance of the Sindh CM on the bus along with his aides took its passengers by surprise.

The CM interacted with the passengers and asked for their opinion about the newly launched public transport service in the city. While distributing the masks, the CM asked the passengers to wear them during their commute owing to the alarming threat of COVID spreading.

Earlier at the CM House, Syed Murad Ali Shah chaired the session of the provincial COVID-19 task force which was held after several months.

Shah expressed concern that there had been an alarming increase in coronavirus cases in urban centres of the province, especially in Karachi in the last week of June.

He noted that the spread of cases in Karachi had gone beyond 20 per cent during this period.

He said that due safety measures had to be adopted to prevent further spread of the infections before Eid Al Adha, local government elections in Sindh and congregations in Muharram.

The CM warned that his government would be left with no option but to take certain tough decisions if its spread was not controlled before the upcoming events involving mass gatherings.

He appealed to the people to wear face masks, observe social distancing, frequently wash hands, and avoid handshakes to avoid enforcement of tough lockdown measures by the government.

Sindh Health Minister, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, said the situation in public hospitals was well under control after the latest spread of infections in Sindh.

Of the total 4,122 patients with infectious disease, only 63 of them are in hospitals. The condition of only 47 of these patients is critical.