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October 28, 2020

2nd corona wave hits Pakistan, other countries: Strict restrictions inevitable, says Dr Faisal

Top Story

 
October 28, 2020

Ag APP

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told a press conference Tuesday strict coronavirus restrictions were inevitable, given the rise in COVID-19 deaths and the positivity ratio across country.

The second virus wave is hitting hard various countries, and Pakistan didn’t seem an exception.

Dr Faisal said a few weeks ago, 400-500 cases were being reported across the country on a daily basis. The tally, he said, had shot up to 700-750 cases of the infection per day. “The coronavirus death rate has increased in the country,” he said, adding that the positivity ratio had surged to 2.5-2.75%. Dr Faisal said the second wave had begun in the country as masses were not adhering to coronavirus precautions. Now, Pakistan is entering a phase where we need to tighten coronavirus curbs, the PM’s aide said, adding that an official plan would be formulated soon.

“Our focus — tightening coronavirus restrictions — would be more on the cities and areas where the positivity ratio of the virus is high,” Dr Faisal said. The premier’s aide said that authorities were mulling over several plans and recommendations to impose restrictions to stem the spread of the virus. “We urge local administrations to implement coronavirus SOPs [standard operating procedures],” he said and warned that the government would impose a fine on people who did not follow coronavirus SOPs in public places. The special assistant said that business timings across the country may be reduced in light of the growing cases of the pandemic. He said that business timings that were in place during the pandemic may be restored again.

Dr Faisal said that the government was mulling over setting up a hotline so that the citizens could inform authorities when coronavirus SOPs were being violated.

“Restrictions are hard [on the people] and no government wishes to impose them,” he said, adding that if people follow coronavirus safety measures, Pakistan could beat this wave as well.

Pakistan has recorded 329,375 coronavirus cases, 6,745 deaths, and 311,440 recoveries from the pandemic, according to official statistics. The total active COVID-19 cases in the country were recorded 11,190 on Tuesday, as 773 more people tested positive for the deadly virus during the last 24 hours.

Six corona patients, five of whom were under treatment in hospital, and one out of hospital, died on Tuesday, according to the latest update issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). Some 27,133 tests were conducted across the country on Tuesday, including 8,157 in Sindh, 10,083 in Punjab, 4,545 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 3,249 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 758 in Balochistan, 258 in GB, and 83 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

At global level, the virus situation has started worsening once again. France Tuesday reported 523 new deaths, the highest daily death toll since April. Reuters reports that Tuesday’s death toll data included hospital deaths, which were reported on a daily basis, and 235 retirement home deaths over the past four days. Angela Merkel, meanwhile, warned that Germany’s health system might hit breaking point. She told party colleagues that the number of new cases was doubling every seven to eight days, while the number of occupied intensive care beds was doubling every 10 days. UK deaths involving COVID-19 pass 61,000. The total number of deaths registered by the three statistical agencies across England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now stands at 59,927.