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Corona goes out of control

Top Story

March 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The national tally on Saturday of total active COVID-19 cases recorded 42,384 with 4,468 more people tested positive for the deadly virus and 2,137 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours.Sixty-seven corona patients have died during past 24 hours, 62 of whom were under treatment in hospital and five out of the hospital in their respective quarantines or homes, according to the latest update issued by the National command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

During the last 24 hours most of the deaths had occurred in the Punjab followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Out of the total 67 deaths occurred during last 24 hours, 22 of the deceased had died on ventilators during their treatment. The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major areas including Multan 72 percent, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 62 percent, Gujranwala 60 percent and Lahore 57 percent.

The maximum Oxygen beds (alternate oxygen providing facility other than ventilator administered as per medical requirement of COVID patient) was also occupied in four major areas of Gujrat 89 percent, Gujranwala 85 percent, Peshawar 73 percent and Swat 61 percent.

Around 394 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country while no COVID affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan.

Some 44,279 tests were conducted across the country on Friday, including 11,134 in Sindh, 16,473 in Punjab, 8,029 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 6,601 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 656 in Balochistan, 311 in GB, and 1,075 in AJK.

Around 593,282 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients.

Since the pandemic spread, a total of 649,824 cases were detected that also included the perished, recovered and under treatment COVID-19 patients so far, including AJK 12,245, Balochistan 19,453, GB 4,990, ICT 55,056, KP 83,630, Punjab 210,095 and Sindh 264,355. About 14,158 deaths were recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion.

Around 4,487 perished in Sindh where one death occurred in hospital during past 24 hours.

6,190 in Punjab died with 48 deaths occurred in past 24 hours. 43 of them were in the hospital and five out of hospital.

2,274 in KP where 14 of them died in hospital on Friday, 557 in ICT among two deaths in hospital during past 24 hours, 205 in Balochistan, 103 in GB and 342 in AJK among two of them succumbed to the deadly virus in hospital on Friday.

A total of 10,021,070 corona tests have been conducted so far, while 631 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. Some 3,426 corona patients were admitted in hospitals across the country.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Saturday called upon the political, social and religious leaders and media to join hands for controlling spread of third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is time to show leadership and we, as a nation, have to limit spread of the disease from reaching the level of damaging livelihood,” he said while keeping in view the rising threats of the pandemic.

Addressing a media briefing here after chairing the meeting of National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the minister said whenever Pakistanis stood united to fight against odds, they overcame everything. He urged the political, social and religious leaders, and the media to join the government’s effort to contain the pandemic.

He pointed out that the major reason behind the rising trend of corona disease in the country was the British variants of the pandemic that had the ability to spread more rapidly and it was also more fatal. He said the rising trend was not observed only in Pakistan but also in the whole region, adding, in India, the number of corona virus positive cases had declined to below 10,000 in a day but now it had crossed 47,000 new cases daily. Similarly in Bangladesh too, the number of daily COVID positive cases had increased four times.

He warned that the threat was increasing. “In the peak of first wave, more than 3,300 COVID patients were in critical care in hospitals while in second wave the highest number of such patients in the hospitals was 2,511. However, in the third wave, as many as 2842 critical care patients were in the hospitals on Friday. Only in 12 days, the number has increased by 1000, he informed.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government on Saturday notified the closure of shrines across the province in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus as infections witness a steady rise.

The decision came during a meeting with provincial Minister for Auqaf Sohail Anwar Sial in the chair. Auqaf chief administrator Sindh, in a notification, said all shrines and ‘dargahs’ would remain closed for 10 days — from March 28 to April 6.

Four days ago, the Auqaf Department had notified the reopening of all the shrines in the province, however, with an increase in coronavirus cases, the government has decided to shut them down.

As many as 12,462 children have contracted coronavirus in Punjab, the province's health department said, revealing that the infected include patients ranging from infants to children of 15 years.

In Lahore alone, 5,301 children have contracted coronavirus, with the provincial capital's COVID-19 positivity ratio reaching 18% in the last 24 hours.

In Lahore, in the last 24 hours, 6,762 tests were carried out, and 1,233 people tested positive for the infection — raising the city's positivity ratio to 18%.

In a similar development, Islamabad on Friday had registered coronavirus infections in 49 children aged 1-10, the district health officer had said in a report.

The officer said in the last 24 hours, Islamabad had registered 548 coronavirus cases, bumping up the total infections to 53,684 — with a positivity ratio of 12.27%.

According to the report, 5,291 children in all, between the ages of 1-10, have contracted the virus in Islamabad.

Following an alarming rise in the positivity ratio, the Lahore administration has announced that anyone not wearing a mask will be thrown in jail.

A meeting was held on Saturday under the chairmanship of the Lahore police chief and Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Usman in which the coronavirus situation was discussed and important decisions were taken.

The commissioner ordered strict implementation of the mask-wearing rule. He said that those who do not wear masks will be detained and may face a jail term of up to six months. According to the commissioner, violators will have a case registered against them and this new injunction will go into effect starting today (Saturday).

Usman said that for the purpose, Lahore administration officials and police will routinely patrol the streets and take stern action against those not adhering to the rule.

Separately, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Ghulam Mehmood Dogar ordered the police to ensure the implementation of all government guidelines, especially in marriage halls and public places.

In this regard, the Lahore Chief Traffic Officer has also warned that any vehicles whose passengers are found seated without a mask will be impounded. "Citizens must ensure they wear a mask before they leave their homes," he said.