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October 1, 2020

COVID-19 cases escalate across country

Top Story

October 1, 2020

KARACHI: The Covid-19 cases have started rising gradually in Pakistan, especially in Sindh, while coronavirus infections are also on the rise in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan and Islamabad, officials and experts said on Wednesday. The highest number of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan are being reported from Sindh where 400 people were tested positive for the Coronavirus infection on Tuesday and 311 on Wednesday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said, adding that they tested 10,881 samples on Tuesday, of which 400 tested positive for the coronavirus, which is 3.6 percent of the samples.

The infection also claimed two more lives in Sindh in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 2,499. Similarly, labs in Sindh tested 10,940 samples from Tuesday to Wednesday, which yielded 311 positive cases, Sindh chief minister said. He added that the number of cases were constantly on the rise in Karachi and Hyderabad where the detection rate had crossed 6 percent. On Tuesday, September 30, 2020 around 5,464 samples were tested in Karachi and of them, 365 were tested positive, which is 6.68 percent detection rate.

In view of the gravity of situation, the district administration in Karachi has decided to seal restaurants and shopping malls found violating the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) while the administration of district West in Karachi also decided to implement “micro-smart lockdown” in some Union Councils to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.

An overview of Covid-19 situation of September 28 revealed that Karachi witnessed the highest number of Covid-19 cases in a single day in Sindh where 338 people were tested positive for the infectious disease when 6,419 tests were conducted, federal health authorities told The News saying 5.27 percent of the samples were tested positive in Karachi which was an alarming trend.

Similarly, 3.08 percent samples were tested positive in Hyderabad city of Sindh when 519 samples were tested and 16 of them were tested positive for Covid-19 , federal officials said.

On the other hand, Covid-19 cases were also on the rise in Balochistan, especially in Quetta where 973 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours and of them 68 were tested positive, which is the 6.99 percent detection rate, officials said.

But the situation was very alarming in Gilgit-Baltistan where 18 people were tested positive for the Covid-19 in Gilgit city from 78 samples that were tested, officials said adding that in Gilgit, the detection rate was 24.32 percent.

On the other hand, experts claimed that although coronavirus infections were also on the rise in Islamabad Capital Territory but surprisingly, cases were not rising in Punjab’s different cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala and Multan despite increase in hospitalization of Covid-19 patients.

“Hospitalization of Covid-19 cases is constantly the highest in different cities of Punjab as compared to Sindh where cases are the highest on daily basis. This gives rise to suspicion that perhaps Punjab health authorities are hiding the cases,” a senior health expert said after reviewing the national Covid-19 data.

The expert claimed that trends of new admissions reveal that “Punjab was admitting the highest number of patients to the hospitals” as compared to Sindh but ironically, the number of cases were not rising and being shown the lowest in Punjab. “There is definitely some manipulation is being done with the Covid-19 data in Punjab”, the expert claimed.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 has claimed two more lives in Sindh in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 2,499 while 311 new cases have emerged in the province, raising the tally to 137,109, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said.

The CM said that currently 4,255 patients were under treatment, of them 3,978 in home isolation, six at isolation centers and 271 at different hospitals. He added that the condition of 181 patients was stated to be critical, including 38 shifted to ventilators.

According to Murad Ali Shah, 215 patients recovered overnight. The number of patients recovered so far has reached 130,352 that constituted 95 percent. The chief minister said that out of 311 new cases of coronavirus, 221 were detected from Karachi, including 75 from South, 53 East, 40 Central, 27 Korangi, 17 Malir and nine West. Hyderabad has 14 cases, Jamshoro six, Badin and Dadu four each, Sujawal three, Ghotki two, Khairpur, Mirpurkhas, Naushehroferoze, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sukkur and Thatta one each.