Sindh local bodies Minister Nasir Hussain Shah on Tuesday put to rest speculations that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 matches due to be held in the city may not take place owing to concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus in Pakistan.
All matches due to be held at the National Stadium would take place as per the schedule, said Shah, during a press conference at the stadium. His remarks came in the backdrop of reports that the provincial health department will forward recommendations to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for a ban to be placed on public gatherings.
They also came as two more cases of the virus were reported in the province, one in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.
“The virus is not as deadly as being portrayed […] it is not as if someone who contracts cannot recover fully,” the information minister said, adding that the first patient identified was discharged and his family members were screened and did not have the coronavirus symptoms.
When asked if spectators should come to watch the PSL matches, he said they were welcome to do so and can come without any fear.
“We will provide sanitisers and there are arrangements for screening as well,” he said.
Shah, along with PCB officials and health department officials, had conducted a review of the arrangements at the National Stadium prior to the media briefing.
Matches at the stadium are due to take place from March 12-17.
According to a press release from the CM House issued Tuesday evening, Sindh CM Shah said the PSL matches would be held from March 12 as they were already scheduled in the city.
Shah directed Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for Sindh Mushtaq Mehar to make the required arrangements to organise PSL matches as scheduled.
But “I want you to issue an advisory for the spectators,” he added, directing Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Shah and Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shahalwani to hold a meeting with the PCB authorities to discuss precautionary measures.
The chief minister urged them to install hand-wash and sanitiser boxes at the National Stadium and issue an advice for people who have travel history of Iran not to visit stadium.
The commissioner and PCB authorities would work out a detailed precautionary plan in the light of the advisory the health department has already issued.