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Agencies
June 15, 2020

Just in a month: Pakistan faced 242pc surge in deaths

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A
Agencies
June 15, 2020

If SOPs violations continue, corona cases may surge to 1.2m

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday said in a tweet that total cumulative deaths due to COVID-19 on May 14 were 770 in Pakistan and 2,649 in India while deaths on June 14 are 2,632 in Pakistan and 9,485 in India so, increase in deaths last month are 242 percent in Pakistan and 258 percent in India.

"There is much we are still learning about COVID spread and mortality," he said. The minister feared that coronavirus cases might surge to 1.2 million by the end of July if strict action was not taken against the violators of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“By the middle of June, we have around 150,000 cases and if such situation prevails and no change is made then according to the experts, the number can increase by two folds to 300,000 by the end of current month and further surge to around one million to 1.2 million by the next month mend,” Asad Umar said in a media briefing after chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on COVID-19 here.

“This is of course a matter of worry but the good thing is that we have the capability to avoid such situation by taking administrative actions,” he said. Asad said administrative measures were already being taken against the violators of SOPs; however, the NCOC had decided to take stricter action against such people.

The government did not want to hurt the people, but it was its constitutional as well as moral responsibility to prevent them from spreading the disease, he added.

The minister said the capacity of health system was also being improved. The NCOC had taken thedecision to increase the COVID-19 testing capacity from current 40,000-50,000 daily to around 150,000 tests within four to six weeks, meaning that around 100,000 people would be tested on daily basis by mid-July.

About the availability of beds with oxygen for the coronavirus patients, Umar said at present around 2,000 patients were on oxygen beds across the country. Keeping in view the growing numbers of patients, the federal government would provide 1000 more beds by the end of current month and 1,000 beds next month, Asad said.

“We will provide 500 beds each to Sindh and Punjab, 450 to Islamabad, 400 beds to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 200 beds to Balochistan, 60 to Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 40 to Gilgit Baltistan,” he said.

Asad Umar said according to experts, wearing masks was the most effective way to control the pandemic, as it could even help decrease the spread rate by 50 percent. He said social distancing was the second most important requirement the people should follow.

It had repeatedly been advised that the people should avoid going out of home unnecessarily, and if it was unavoidable, then they should observe social distancing whether they were in a market, at an office or anywhere else.

He said the government wanted to save the majority of people of from the disease, warning that more strict actions would be taken against those who did not follow the SOPs, particularly shops and even markets would be locked in such cases.

He said in Islamabad, the government had sealed some areas and similar actions would be taken in Lahore and other cities of Punjab. Asad Umar said according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government was also concerned about the economic situation of common man.

Meanwhile, the death of 31 more Covid-19 patients on Sunday raised death toll to 969 in Punjab, while confirmed cases of raced to 52,601 with the addition of 2,514 new infections in the province.

As many as 47 more healthcare workers caught infection, which raised the number of affected doctors, nurses and paramedics to 925. So far 330 casualties have been confirmed from Lahore, 205 Rawalpindi, 90 Multan, 89 Faisalabad, 47 Gujranwala, 38 Sialkot, 23 Rahim Yar Khan, 22 Bahawalpur, 21 Gujrat, 15 Sargodha, 11 Sheikhupura, 10 Sahiwal, eight each in Kasur and Dera Ghazi Khan, seven Nankana Sahib, six Muzaffargarh, five each in Attock, Toba Tek Singh and Mianwali, four Hafizabad, three each Jhang and Jhelum, two each Rajanpur, Narowal, Bahawalnagar, Khushab and Okara and one each from Bhakkar, Khanewal, Vehari and Lodhran.

Out of 2,514 new cases, 1,331 have been reported from Lahore, 234 Rawalpindi, 157 Multan, 130 Sialkot, 123 Faisalabad, 102 Gujrat, 55 Gujranwala, 53 Rahim Yar Khan, 47 Bahawalpur, 46 Dera Ghazi Khan, 43 Sargodha, 26 Sheikhupura, 20 Sahiwal, 18 Kasur, 16 Layyah, 12 Vehari, 11 Muzaffargarh, 10 Okara, nine each in Lodhran and Khanewal, eight each Attock, Bahawalnagar and Bhakkar, seven Toba Tek Singh, six Jhelum, five each Nankana Sahib and Mianwali, three each Narowal and Jhang, two each Chiniot, Khushab, Pakpattan and Rajanpur and one from Hafizabad.

So far 26,429 Covid-19 patients have been confirmed from Lahore, 4,145 Rawalpindi, 3,677 Faisalabad, 3,636 Multan, 2,062 Gujranwala, 1,508 Sialkot, 1,351 Gujrat, 1,072 Dera Ghazi Khan, 838 Bahawalpur, 731 Sheikhupura, 697 Sargodha, 690 Rahim Yar Khan, 628 Muzaffargarh, 483 Hafizabad, 441 Kasur, 331 Jhelum, 322 Sahiwal, 297 Vehari, 285 Toba Tek Singh, 267 Layyah, 264 Bahawalnagar, 262 Nankana Sahib, 230 Lodhran, 224 Mandi Bahauddin, 191 Jhang, 185 Attock, 170 Khushab, 166 Okara, 162 Bhakkar, 160 each Chiniot and Narowal, 146 Khanewal, 128 Mianwali, 102 each Pakpattan and Rajanpur and 59 Chakwal.

As per spokesperson for Corona Monitoring Room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, so far 347,575 tests have been performed in the province.

Out of those, he said, 52,601 have been tested positive for the virus. He said that 16,375 cases have been reported from 31-45 years age group. As many as 15,421 cases have been reported from 16-30 years age group. He said that lowest number of cases, 833, have been reported from above 75 years age group.

He said 17,650 patients had recovered, 969 died while 33,982 were isolated at homes or were under treatment at different quarantine centres and health facilities.

Police department and the health professionals including doctors and paramedics were the most affected.

Meanwhile, at least 284 police officials of Sindh police have tested positive in the past four days. Eight Karachi police cops have died. The police spokesperson said 778 personnel and officers of Sindh police had so far tested positive for the virus, while at least 576 members of the force were under treatment.

Meanwhile, two more MPAs from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies tested positive on Sunday. PTI MPA Dr. Sumera Shams from Lower Dir was tested positive. In a statement, Dr. Shams said after symptoms of the disease she underwent coronavirus test, which was resulted in positive.

GDA MP in Sindh Assembly Arif Mustafa Jatoi has also tested positive. He has quarantined himself. With this, the total number of MPAs suffering from the virus has reached 25.

The COVID-19 caseload in Pakistan has reached 142,263 with 6,825 new cases reported during last 24 hours, an official of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on coronavirus said on Sunday.

He said 2,663 deaths had been reported from the disease with 81 reported during last 24 hours, while 51,735 patients had recovered so far. He said a total of 868,565 tests had been conducted while in last 24 hours 29,546 tests were conducted.

He said 53,805 cases were reported from Sindh, 52,601 from Punjab, 18,053 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 7,934 from Islamabad, 1,129 from Gilgit Baltistan, 8,177 from Balochistan and 604 from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

He said so far 26,315 active cases were reported from Sindh, 33,982 from Punjab, 12,498 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6,188 from Islamabad, 388 from Gilgit Baltistan, 5,150 from Balochistan and 342 from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

He said 969 deaths were reported from Sindh, 969 from Punjab, 675 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 75 from Islamabad, 16 from Gilgit Baltistan, 85 from Balochistan and 12 from AJK.

He said 24,387 patients had recovered in Sindh, 17,650 in Punjab, 4,291 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,671 in Islamabad, 691 Gilgit Baltistan, 2,795 in Balochistan and 250 in AJK.