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April 3, 2020

Coronavirus continues hitting Pakistan

Top Story

April 3, 2020

LAHORE/KARACHI/PESHAWAR: Coronavirus cases on Thursday witnessed a sharp increase in Pakistan, while six deaths were also reported within 24 hours, taking the death toll in Pakistan to 35.

Pakistan has reported 35 deaths so far -- 11 each have been reported from Punjab and Sindh, nine from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three from Gilgit-Baltistan and one from Balochistan. Out of the total 2,401 confirmed cases, 920 have been reported from Punjab, Sindh has reported 743 cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 311, Balochistan 169, Gilgit-Baltistan 187, Islamabad Capital Territory 62 and AJK has reported nine cases.

Sixty-nine new COVID-19 patients were reported in Punjab on Thursday, taking the number of confirmed cases to 920. Also, so far 11 people have succumbed to the coronavirus in the province including five in Lahore, four in Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad andRahim Yar Khan. Six patients have also gone home after complete recovery.

As per Corona Monitoring Room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare (P&SH) Department, a total of 309 corona patients, who had returned from Iran after pilgrimage, are under treatment at quarantine facilities including 213 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 91 in Multan and five in Faisalabad. As many as 199 patients were under treatment in Lahore, 142 in Raiwind, 90 in Gujrat, 53 in Rawalpindi, 28 in Jhelum, 14 each in Gujranwala and Mandi Bahauddin, 13 in Nankana Sahib, 10 in Sargodha, nine in Faisalabad, five each in DG Khan and Hafizabad, three each in Mianwali, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan, two each in Multan, Vehari, Lodhran and Narowal and one each in Attock, Bahawalpur, Kasur, Layyah and Khushab.

As per P&SH spokesperson, all patients are getting treatment at isolation wards, while serious patients are immediately being shifted to High Dependency Units. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has urged the government to allow patients to remain under self-isolation at their homes. “At the moment, the government is picking up people having mild fever or flu with the help of police,” they said while emphasising the need to stop humiliation of people and allow them to stay at their homes. “Only those needing ventilators should be shifted to hospitals,” they demanded.

Meanwhile, a village in Rajanpur district was locked down by the Punjab Health Department after suspecting that at least 10 people had contracted coronavirus, The News has learnt.

According to sources, 10 people residing in Basti Toor near Union Council Bangla Dhengan near Kotla Naseer in Rajanpur district were found suspected of coronavirus careers.

A Dubai-returned person, Sajid Hussain of the village, was infected with coronavirus. He had come back from Dubai via Karachi some days ago and was suffering from flue, cough and fever. After observing the symptoms in Sajid Hussain and his family members, the Health Department was informed.

The district administration, police and the Health Department reached the village. Doctors examined the suspected people and the village was quarantined.

According to the district administration, no one would be allowed to enter the village or leave it. Rajanpur Deputy Commissioner Zulfiqar Ali Kharal told The News that tests of all people suspected of coronavirus would be conducted. The district administration would follow all standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Health Dr Chaudhry Mohabbat Ali has deployed six doctors at the quarantine facility to look after the villagers. District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Rajanpur Medical Officer (MO) Dr Raheel would visit the village frequently. Dr Zeeshan Aziz will visit the quarantine in the evening while Dr Awais would see the suspected patients in the night. Dr Sarfraz Haidar, clinical psychologist, and Ms Sumaira Khalil, clinical psychologist, would do counselling the villagers on daily basis, while DHQ Hospital Medical Lab Technologist Muhammad Zeeshan would collect samples of suspected patients at the quarantine. Rajanpur CEO Health said that only four people were suspected of coronavirus in the district earlier. One of them was cleared and his results were found negative. “We are taking care of the people and whole village would be screened,” he added.

The health authorities in Sindh announced death of two more patients of COVID-19, while 52 more people were infected with coronavirus. These new cases included 27 in Karachi, nine in Hyderabad, eight in Sukkur, six in Nawabshah and two in Jamshoro, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases to 761 across the province.

“Two people passed away in the province due to complications of the COVID-19 on Thursday, including one at Hyderabad and the other at the Ojha campus of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS). With these two deaths, number of people who lost lives due to coronavirus stands at 11 in Sindh,” Sindh health minister Dr Azra Pechuho said.

The health minister identified the patient dying of coronavirus at Hyderabad as 65 years old and a resident of Tando Muhammad Khan, who was brought to the hospital in Hyderabad on 28th March where he was tested positive and was being treated. “The patient was a member of the Tableeghi Jamaat. The patient had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and was on ventilator,” she said. Similarly, an 86-year-old patient, who was a resident of Karachi, died at the Ojha Campus of the Dow Medical University. The patient was tested positive on April 1, 2020 and was a case of local transmission of COVID-19. He suffered from hypertension, the health minister added.

The health department said as many as 52 persons also tested positive for coronavirus in the province including 27 in Karachi while six persons were tested positive for the viral illness in Nawabshah. “Similarly, nine people were found infected with coronavirus in Hyderabad while eight pilgrims from Iran, kept at quarantine in Sukkur, tested positive for the viral disease,” an official of the Health Department said, adding that two more people were infected with the viral ailment in Jamshoro district.

On the other hand, Azra Pechuho confirmed nine people to have recovered in Sindh. Out of these nine patients, two were pilgrims from Traftan and were kept at the Sukkur Isolation facility while the remaining seven were residents of Karachi. This brings the total number of recovered patients in Sindh to 65 including 25 from Sukkur quarantine, one from Hyderabad and remaining 39 of Karachi.

Meanwhile, owing to rapid spread of coronavirus in the Gulshan-e-Hadeed area, the health authorities have ordered closure of out-patient departments at all the public and private hospitals.

Meanwhile, with 37 new positive cases of coronavirus, two more patients died in KP on Thursday, rising death toll from the COVID-19 so far in the province to nine.

Also, 121 patients, out of 261, who had arrived from Iran via Taftan in Balochistan and quarantined in Dera Ismail Khan district completed 14-day period in quarantine and were allowed to go home. Of the two patients who died on Thursday, one had tested positive for the coronavirus while result of the second one is still awaited.

According to Mohammad Asim Khan, media manager of the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), a patient Khanimullah, 69, was brought to them from the Police Services Hospital in Peshawar a few days ago and they had shifted him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and put him on ventilator.

The official said the patient was in a critical condition when they received him and he expired on Thursday. He had tested positive for coronavirus. He belonged to the Daggar area of the Buner district and had a travel history with the Tableeghi Jamaat.

The man is the third patient who died of coronavirus in KP and had a history of Tableeghi Jamaat. Before him, a retired military officer died in Abbottabad last week and another patient died of coronavirus in Bannu who had returned from Tableeghi Ijtema in Lahore recently. At the LRH, it was second patient who died of coronavirus. Before him, a patient, Abdul Fateh, 38, who had returned from overseas and belonged to Hangu, had also died at the LRH. With the latest fatality in LRH, the number of patients who died of coronavirus has reached nine. And if the patient died in Khaleefa Gul Nawaz Hospital in Bannu was confirmed as corona positive, then death toll would climb to 10 in KP.

Though the number of suspected patients of coronavirus is increasing with each passing day, there was a positive and encouraging development when 121 people were reported to have recovered from their disease.

The KP government had received 410 zaireen from Iran via Taftan and 261 were quarantined in Dera Ismail Khan and 149 in Peshawar. Dera Ismail Khan Division Commissioner Javed Marwat said that 121 people had completed their 14-day period in quarantine and they would be sent home after they tested negative on Thursday. They belonged to 17 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

After reaching homes, the official said these people would spend some time in isolation so that they don't develop complications. In KP, 37 more patients tested positive for coronavirus, rising the total number of positive cases to 311.

Among the Irani "zaireen", 62 patients had tested positive. And only among them had died of coronavirus and that too when an elderly woman developed complications during travel from Taftan to DI Khan.