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July 4, 2020

Qureshi tests positive for coronavirus

Top Story

 
July 4, 2020

Ag APP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has tested positive for the coronavirus as planning minister Asad Umar credited compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the reduced number of hospitalised patients compared to mid-June.

“This afternoon I felt a slight fever and immediately quarantined myself at home. I have now tested positive for Covid 19. By the grace of Allah, I feel strong and energetic. I will continue to carry on my duties from home. Please keep me in your prayers,” the foreign minister said on Twitter.

In a press briefing at the NCOC on Friday, Umar said Sindh — in particular Karachi — is an area which has yet to see improvement. “Karachi is the area where improvement is yet to be seen,” Umar said. The minister said the NCOC is engaged with the provincial authorities to improve the situation there as well.

Similarly, there is a reduction in the number of deaths as well as the patients on ventilators and oxygen, the minister said, but stressed that the situation could further improve if the people continue to follow precautionary measures. He also appreciated the efforts put in by the administration and provincial governments to ensure compliance of the SOPs.

In response, Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani said Sindh is carrying out twice the amount of tests than Punjab. That same day, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari quoted a local newspaper opinion piece and tweeted: “‘Sindh takes the lead in the number of recoveries. At 46,824, the number of patients having defeated the virus in Sindh is 46,824 — a figure which makes up 46 per cent of the total recoveries across the country.’ 100,000 recoveries.”

Meanwhile, the United States donated American-made 100 ventilators to Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said in a tweet. John Joseph Hillmeyer, Deputy Consul General handed-over the ventilators to NDMA at Karachi airport, it added.

“These new ventilators will enable Pakistan to more effectively treat patients suffering from Covid-19 in hospitals across the country,” the US Embassy said in a tweet. “The United States stands with Pakistan in its fight against coronavirus. These American-made ventilators will help Pakistani patients in the most acute need of medical care,” Ambassador Paul Jones was quoted as saying in a subsequent tweet.

The donation came as Pakistan saw 4,087 new coronavirus cases, taking the total tally 221,896. Seventy-eight more people succumbed to the disease, taking the death toll to 4,551. In a statement at 100 days of operation since March 27, the NCOC said testing capacity increased from 472 tests to more than 50,000 tests daily, number of laboratories increased from two to 132.

Commenting on the 100 days of the establishment of the NCOC, Umar said that in the last few months, “Pakistan has once again shown that when we come together, we can overcome any challenge, Pakistan Zindabad.”