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January 13, 2021

New corona cases, deaths ebbing: Asad Umar

Peshawar

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APP
January 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Tuesday said the government’s decisions to cope with the second wave of COVID-19 yielded positive results, as the number of new cases, hospitalised patients, those on ventilators and deaths had started coming down after witnessing peak in December 2020.

Addressing the media after chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), Asad said by end November, the NCOC decided to close down some selected sectors again to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic.

By the start of December, he said hospitals across the country were receiving the highest number of patients but later on the trend started declining.

Similarly, he said in the second week of December, the number of those on oxygen was the highest and then in the third week the number of patients on ventilators and deaths peaked.

After that the trend started easing and now it was on the downward trajectory, he added.

Asad Umar however warned that the second wave proved to be deadlier and in the western countries and the US, the number of deaths was more than that in the first wave so “we should be highly careful at this last stage of the pandemic.”

He said government decisions and results were highly correlated that is why people should observe all the precautionary measures suggested by the NCOC and the health authorities.

The minister said vaccine from China would land in Pakistan soon and first it would be used for the frontline health workers such as medical staff and then for the common people.

The minister pointed out that during the first wave, by April, over 20 million workers out of 50 million were of the view that their livelihood was badly affected due to the lockdowns.

After establishment of NCOC, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed implementation of such a strategy that should allow the workers, especially poor daily wagers, to work by adhering to the precautionary measures, he added.

He said on the direction of prime minister, the NCOC started implementing the smart lockdown policy that was acknowledged by the world including the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said within a few weeks after the establishment of NCOC, the country’s economy witnessed a “V” shaped recovery.

For example, he said construction and industrial sectors employing 46 percent workers worked were witnessing a speedy growth.

On the contrary, he said millions of people in India were struggling due to the bad policies of their government.