KARACHI: The Sindh Excessive Court docket (SHC) sought on Friday a counter-reply from a petitioner after the Sindh well being secretary maintained there was no shortage of surgical masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, including that the federal government nonetheless had 550,000 masks in storage.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed, was listening to a plea pertaining to the scarcity of surgical masks.
The Karachi assistant commissioner knowledgeable the court docket that 591,000 masks had been imported to cope with the disaster, of which 50,000 had been for South district alone. Including to this, the well being secretary maintained that aside from the 550,000 masks in storage, the federal government had already distributed giant quantities of masks.
The well being secretary additionally submitted a report back to the court docket, in accordance with which there was no scarcity of protecting gear and different necessities, together with masks, required to cope with the coronavirus disaster within the province.
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These commodities had been being equipped to public hospitals in all districts of Sindh in enough portions, the report states, including that over 100,000 masks had been nonetheless out there at authorities hospitals. It mentions that 11 main hospitals within the province had been supplied 5,000 surgical masks every and 489,000 had been seized throughout raids in opposition to hoarders.
As per the report, the commodities seized throughout raids had been saved in a storage facility and can be distributed amongst hospitals in numerous districts in accordance with their demand.
Elaborating on the distribution of masks, the Sindh extra advocate-general knowledgeable the court docket that thus far 110,000 masks had been distributed.
“But the media reports that there is a shortage of masks and sanitisers,” responded the petitioner. He additional claimed that whereas the well being secretary maintained that masks had been distributed, none had reached Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital.
At this, Justice Mazhar requested him whether or not the petition aimed to criticise the media for creating panic. Addressing the petitioner, he rebuked, “Do you want the media to not raise awareness [on coronavirus]?” He added that the media was solely making individuals conscious of the state of affairs.
The petitioner additionally complained that the quarantine centre in Sukkur was in a “miserable” state.
“Have you visited the facility?” Justice Mazhar questioned the petitioner, who replied that he had discovered concerning the quarantine centre’s situation through social media.
The court docket ordered the petitioner to submit a counter-reply to the events’ responses and directed the Karachi commissioner and well being secretary to proceed the crackdown on hoarders.
It adjourned the listening to until April 10.
Virus clearance certificates
The bench additionally issued notices to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Ministry of Inside and different events over a plea difficult the CAA notification making entry into the nation conditional upon having a coronavirus clearance certificates.
The court docket was knowledgeable by the petitioner’s counsel that his shopper was on account of return to Pakistan from the United Acknowledged on March 21.
“He has approached the relevant authorities in America to get the certificate but his request is denied on the grounds that he never had COVID-19 in the first place,” the counsel argued.
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At this, Justice Mazhar remarked that coronavirus was a worldwide problem and he anticipated that a number of related petitions can be filed following the notification. However then, airports had been being frequented by tons of of individuals day by day and even when a couple of of them had contracted the virus, permitting them entry into the nation may result in an even bigger drawback, he identified.
Justice Mazhar harassed the necessity for establishing isolation centres and screening passengers for the illness at airports, stating that these arriving from overseas must be shifted to isolation wards at airports.
“A flight carrying, say, 300 passengers may have a few with the infection and that can be a problem [if not duly addressed],” he commented.
Nonetheless, he mentioned that the court docket would inquire of the federal government what measures had been taken concerning the problem and directed the CAA, the Ministry of Inside and different events to submit their replies on the plea by March 27.
Printed in The Categorical Tribune, March 21st, 2020.