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ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza Monday said Pakistan had reported fewer cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours compared to the past few days ratio.
He was addressing reporters here along withSAPM on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal.
Dr Mirza said so far the coronavirus pandemic had claimed 25 lives, with five deaths reported within the last 24 hours. “In the coming days, there will be an increase in the number of recovered people,” he said, adding that only 99 cases were confirmed across the country since Sunday.
Dr Mirza said currently, 7,507 people had been quarantined in different places across the country. “In hospitals, out of 783 cases, 773 are improving and are expected to get well soon,” said the SAPM. “Only 10 patients are in a critical condition,” he continued.
The total number of confirmed cases on Monday was 1,776 out of which Sindh reported 566 cases, Punjab 651, Balochistan 144, KP 217, Islamabad 51, Gilgit Baltistan 142 and JK 6. Addressing the press conference, the NDMA chairman said the government’s priority was to provide medical teams with adequate supplies so that they could freely serve the ailing.
“The laboratories in Sargodha are under evaluation, then they will begin testing,” he said. Gen Afzal further said officials were aiming to increase testing capacity adding that a flight from Beijing also brought 100 walk-through, thermal scanning machines. He said until April 6, around 100,000 protective kits will be in the country, along with 1,100 to 1,500 ventilators.
“The Sindh government has been given 20,000 testing kits, while Punjab received 5,000,” he said. Dr Yusuf said domestic flights had been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, and will remain so.
“All the passengers have returned from Thailand and they are all clear,” said the SAPM while referring to an earlier national ferry flight assigned to bring back stranded Pakistanis from the Bangkok airport.
Dismissing rumors about the airports resuming operations from April 5, he said the matter of resumption of air operations was under consideration, however, nothing is conclusive as of now.
He further said no Pakistani passengers were stranded at any airport around the world. The press briefing of the officials came as Pakistan recorded more than 1,600 cases of the novel coronavirus.
Earlier, Sindh Minister for Law and Environment Murtaza Wahab said 23 pilgrims quarantined at the coronavirus isolation facility in Sukkur had tested negative for the virus twice.
Also in Punjab, the worst-hit province with more than 600 cases, Punjab Minister for Health Yasmin Rashid informed that 2,000 doctors and related staff were being hired to perform duties at the emergency hospital set up at the Expo Centre in Lahore to cater to coronavirus patients.
Meanwhile, three more Covid-19 patients died on Monday, pushing the death toll to nine in Punjab, while the confirmed patients tally reached 638 in the province.
According to hospital sources, Kausar Parveen (55), and Abdul Aziz (70) died in Rawalpindi, while Muhammad Akbar (42) breathed his last at Mayo Hospital in Lahore.
Kausar Parveen had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, and was hospitalised after being confirmed as a Covid-19 patient on March 27.
Abdul Aziz was hospitalised on March 28 after testing positive for the deadly virus. He had recently returned from England.
Muhammad Akbar, a resident of Okara, was brought to Mayo Hospital in critical condition where he breathed his last.
Meanwhile, 45 new Covid-19 patients were confirmed from across the province on Monday, taking the number of confirmed cases to 638.
Nine patients, who have died due to dreaded coronavirus in Punjab so far, included four in Lahore, three in Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan. Five patients have also recovered from the Covid-19.
As per corona monitoring room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare (P&SH) Department, a total of 291 corona patients, pilgrims from Iran, are under treatment at quarantine facilities including 207 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 80 in Multan and four in Faisalabad. As many as 126 patients are under treatment in Lahore, 62 in Gujrat, 40 in Rawalpindi, 28 in Jhelum, 27 in Raiwind, 13 in Nankana Sahib, 11 in Gujranwala, nine in Faisalabad, five each in DG Khan and Hafizabad, four in Mandi Bahauddin, three in Mianwali, two each in Multan, Vehari, Rahim Yar Khan and Sargodha and one each in Narowal, Attock, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Kasur and Khushab.
As per P&SH spokesperson, all patients are kept in isolation wards, while serious patients were immediately being shifted to high dependency units (HDUs). He urged people to stay at home, frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer.
Meanwhile, an infant was diagnosed positive for Covid-19 in Kasur at Ward No 6 in the limits of Allahabad police station, on Monday.
One-year-old Abdul Saboor, a special child, is the son of army man Muhammad Iqbal, who was also diagnosed positive some days back in Gujranwala.
Saboor is the first reported case in Kasur. The case has been confirmed by Chunian assistant commissioner, who along with health officials including Deputy District Health Officer (DDHO) Dr Iqbal, shifted the child to Lahore.
The other family members of the victim were declared negative. However, 124 suspects were shifted to quarantine at DPS Kasur, most of them had come back from Raiwind religious gathering.
In Nankana Sahib, eight more family members of an already coronavirus affected couple were found positive here on Monday.
A resident of Kamaranwala Mandi Faizabad, Abdur Rasheed, and his wife, Kishwar Bibi, had visited Saudi Arabia for performing Umrah recently. They were admitted to an isolation ward of DHQ Hospital Nankana when they came back. They were found coronavirus positive patients afterwards.
Later, the tests of their other family members were conducted and their eight more family members including Waqas, Hameedan Bibi and Hifza were also found coronavirus positive on Monday. They have been restrained to their residence as it has been declared quarantine for them.
Apart from it, two members of Tablighi Jamaat of Mandi Faizabad were shifted to an isolation ward of DHQ Hospital Nankana on Monday after they were found Covid-19 positive.
Zubair is a resident of Multan while Ijaz is a resident of Mansehra. So far, the number of coronavirus in the district had reached twelve.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the district administration Nankana, Muhammad Tasawar Chaudhry, said the area of Kamranwala Mandi Faizabad had been sealed completely while tests were being conducted of the residents of 51 houses of the area. He said chlorine spray was being conducted in Mandi Faizabad.
M. Waqar Bhatti adds: At least three persons including an elderly woman have died due to complications of COVID-19 in Karachi on Monday while 64 more people have contracted the Coronavirus in Sindh including 27 in Karachi and 31 members of Tableeghi Jamat in Hyderabad, health authorities in Sindh said, adding that 30 people also recovered from the COVID-19, who were allowed to go home.
“The Sindh health department confirmed that three more deaths occurred in the province on Monday. They included 52 and 66 years old men and a 63-year-old woman from Karachi and were diagnosed with COVID-19 three days ago. The 66- year-old male patient had renal issues and was on dialysis while the 52-year-old pa-tient had respiratory problems. The 63-year-old female patient a resident of Karachi was diagnosed with COVID-19 two days ago but she too had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and had returned from Saudi Arabia 10 days ago. These three deaths bring the total number of deaths in Sindh to six,” a spokeswoman for the Sindh health department said while quoting Sindh health minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho on Monday.
An official of the Sindh health department said the 66-year-old person, who required dialysis had contracted the Coroanvirus from his son, who had returned from Tableeghi Ijtima and tested positive for the disease. “The patient was under treatment at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) for a few days and died due to COVID-19”, the health department official said.
Another patient, a 52-year- old man who similarly died at the SIUT also had respiratory illness and passed away during treatment. The third, the 63-year-old female patient who passed away today, was also undergoing treatment at SIUT for last two days. “She had returned from Saudi Arabia 10 days ago, had problems in breathing. She had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome”, the health official said.
Four more people ranging in age from a 7-year-old child, 50, 53 and 70 years old tested negative twice and were discharged from the Ojha Campus of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Monday morning. They had returned from Syria and Dubai, the health department official confirmed.
Meanwhile, seven more people recovered from COVID-19 in Karachi and 23 at the quarantine center at Sukkur and were allowed to return to home. Four more people from Karachi tested negative for Coroanvirus. So far, 41 people have recovered from the COVID-19 in Sindh, the official added.
Amidst those recovering of COVID-19, Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani on Monday confirmed being tested negative for the COVID-19. He has been declared completely healthy and fit by doctors. While thanking his well wishers, Saeed Ghani, who had put himself in self-isolation at his residence for 10 days, said that he would resume his official assignments.
Meanwhile, Sindh health department officials said now nine public and private health facilities in the province were offering COVID-19 testing services. This included Indus Hospital Karachi, Dow University’s Ojha Hospital, SIUT Karachi, Civil Hospital Karachi, Ziauddin Hospital Karachi, PNS Shifa Karachi, Chughtai Lab, LUMHS Hyderabad and Gambat Institute Medical Sciences (GIMS) Khairpur. So far, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) has not resumed COVID-19 testing service and added that the hospital in planning to start home sample collection, which would be announced this week. Health officials have advised people to approach them only if have the classic symptoms and their health compels them to go there.
Meanwhile, Sindh health department said 64 more tested positive for COVID-19 in the province, including 27 in Karachi, which were all due to community or local transmission, while five new cases of local transmission were reported from Hyderabad while one new case of local transmission has been reported from Jacobabad. Shockingly, 31 members of the Tableeghi Jamaat have also been tested positive for the COVID-19, health officials said adding that tests of more members were also being conducted.
With the additions, the health department officials maintained that number of COVID-19 positive cases have jumped to 566 in Sindh including 249 in Karachi, 43 in Hyderabad and one each in Dadu and Jacobabad. “Five people have so far died in Sindh, all in Karachi while 42 were cured. So far, total number of tests conducted in Sindh to date is 6,328,” an official added.