By Our correspondentsISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The national tally on Wednesday of total active COVID-19 cases recorded 84,480 with 4,113 more people tested positive for the deadly virus and 5,665 people...
By Our correspondents
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The national tally on Wednesday of total active COVID-19 cases recorded 84,480 with 4,113 more people tested positive for the deadly virus and 5,665 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours. While, the Punjab government have decided to enforce a complete lockdown in the provinces from May 8.
According to the latest update issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), one hundred and nineteen corona patients have died during past 24 hours, 106 of whom were under treatment in hospital and 13 out of the hospital in their respective quarantines or homes,.
During the past 24 hours, most of the deaths have occurred in the Punjab followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Out of the total 119 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours 38 of them had died who were under treatment on ventilators.
The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major areas including Lahore 69 percent, Multan 77 percent, Mardan 59 percent and Bahawalpur 58 percent.
The maximum Oxygen beds (alternate oxygen providing facility other than ventilator administered as per medical requirement of COVID patient) was also occupied in four major areas of Gujranwala 55 percent, Swabi 67 percent, Peshawar 62 percent and Swat 57 percent.
Around 676 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country while no COVID affected person was on ventilator in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan. Some 44,838 tests were conducted across the country on Tuesday, including 15,297 in Sindh, 16,844 in Punjab, 7,131 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 4,035 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 628 in Balochistan, 396 in GB, and 507 in AJK. Around 738,727 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients. Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 841,636 cases were detected that also included the perished, recovered and under treatment COVID-19 patients so far, including AJK 17,465, Balochistan 22,776, GB 5,341, ICT 76,696, KP 121,099, Punjab 310,616 and Sindh 287,643. About 18,429 deaths were recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion. Around 4,687 have perished in Sindh among six of them died in hospital and three out of the hospital on Tuesday. The 8,741 in Punjab had died with 58 deaths occurred in past 24 hours. 48 of them in the hospital and 10 out of hospital.
The 3,466 in KP where 43 of them died in hospital on Tuesday, 698 in ICT among five of them died in the hospital on Tuesday, 239 in Balochistan, 107 in GB and 491 in AJK among four of them succumbed to the deadly virus in hospital on Tuesday.
A total of 12,010,519 corona tests have been conducted so far, while 631 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. Some 5,741 corona patients were admitted in hospitals across the country.
As per the directions of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to restrict the movement of people during the Eid holidays, the Punjab government has decided to enforce a complete lockdown in the province from May 8.
Public transport and tourist destinations would remain closed and police, Rangers, and army personnel would be deployed at the checkpoints to be set up at the entry and exit points of cities.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid at the Civil Secretariat, here on Wednesday.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said next 15 to 20 days are very crucial in controlling the pandemic. She urged the citizens to extend cooperation in the government’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus and ensure the implementation of SOPs. She appealed to people to celebrate Eid with simplicity, keeping in view the present situation of the epidemic. People should prove themselves to be responsible citizens by taking all precautions, she added.
The chief secretary said that the purpose of giving more holidays on the occasion of Eid is to limit the movement of people. He said awareness among people about the importance of precautionary measures should be increased. He said citizens should stay at home during Eid holidays and avoid unnecessary travel.
He said as per the instructions of NCOC, public transport, parks, and tourist places would be kept completely closed during the holidays.
Additional chief secretary (Home), administrative secretaries of relevant departments including Health, Industries, Information, Commissioner Lahore Division, Director General Public Relations, and civil and military officials attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Chughtai Lab and Chughtai Institute of Pathology confirms the predominance of the COVID-19 UK Variant during the third wave of pandemic in Punjab, Pakistan.
Departments of Virology and Molecular Genetics collected 62 samples at random at the end of March to be tested for variant type. The study effectively concludes that 60 out of the 62 samples (97%) were lineage B.1.17 (UK variant) and 2 samples were found to be lineage B.1.351 (South African variant) through a genomic study.
The study also concludes that the absence of the early variant of the virus (Wuhan variant) indicates that the virus has mutated itself completely from the original strain. The study was led by Prof. Dr. Waheed uz Zaman (Head of Virology) and Dr. Saadat Ali (Head of Molecular Genetics) and their team.
Prof. Akhtar Sohail Chughtai and Dr. Omar Chughtai expressed their concern over the rapidly increasing cases and the dominance of the UK variant during the third wave of COVID-19 in Pakistan.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has included the UK and South African variant in the list of the variants that are being closely monitored globally as they have a tendency to spread fast. So far studies conclude that the antibodies generated through the currently authorized vaccines are effective against these variants.