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Corona may affect 50,000 in Pakistan by 25th

By Sohail Khan
April 05, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government Saturday submitted a report to the Supreme Court stating that around 50,000 people could be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by April 25 of which 41,482 cases could be mild, 2,392 critical and 7, 024 severe.

The report stated that the projections should only be taken as an indicator and not for any disclosure, as it might create public unrest. The report, however, contended that after 35 days, the number of cases was very low compared to European countries and Iran.

The apex court was informed that apart from domestic emergency funding, a comprehensive financing requirement of $336 million had been prepared for strengthening preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Submitting the National Action Plan for COVID-19 to the Supreme Court, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) said the financing requirement had been prepared in consultation with the provinces and approved by the Planning Commission.

It said funds from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank were also used to strengthen preparedness and response to the pandemic.

The court was further informed that diagnostic facilities had been established in all the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and at the Taftan border.

The report said the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) had developed corona testing kits, which had been sent to the DRAP Technical Assessment Committee for testing before making it available to the public. The evaluation process could take around two weeks.

The report stated that the Public Health Emergency Operation Center activated at the National Institute of Health (NIH) had been tasked with surveillance of daily situation report, risk assessment and data analysis.

It further stated that the ministry had started off early preparations, including various administrative actions, initiation of coordination mechanism, development of National Action Plan for COVID-19 emergency, quantification and costing of essential equipment and planning of response strategies, to deal with the pandemic.

The court was informed that 207 hospitals in all the major cities of 154 districts of Pakistan had been identified for isolation of suspected patients and their isolation capacity increased.

The court was also told that quarantine facilities had been established in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) at the Pak China Friendship Center, OGDCL, Haj Complex, Radisson Hotel and Hill View Hotel with isolation beds at the PIMS, Polyclinic, Capital Hospital and Federal Government Services Hospital aka Policlinic.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has also submitted its report to the apex court stating that all arrivals at the airports and sea and land ports were being managed in coordination with relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination and the Government of Balochistan as per prescribed protocol.

Moreover, it was submitted that the eastern and western borders of the country have been sealed till the situation stabilizes.

The court was further informed that a total of 991,337 persons had departed Pakistan for different destinations since January 1, 2020 and a total of 13,493 persons had arrived back since January 1 after screening.

The court was further informed that the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration had taken appropriate necessary measures to control the spread of COVID-19.