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May 5, 2021

Asad hails SOPs compliance as Covid deaths rise sharply

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May 5, 2021

ISLAMABAD: National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar has praised the “significant improvement” in compliance with government guidelines after the military was deployed to help with enforcement as the country’s coronavirus deaths registered a sharp uptick day-on-day and testing reduced by nearly 20 per cent.

“Significant improvement seen in SOP compliance since the stronger enforcement measures including military deployment took place. National average compliance has doubled from 34 per cent on 25th Apr to 68 per cent on 3rd May. Need to sustain and build on this compliance level especially till Eid,” the planning minister said in a tweet.

Umar also posted a new graph measuring compliance with SOPs like wearing masks, adhering to mandated business timings among others across the federating units, with almost all of them improving between May 2 and May 3, except for Sindh province, whose saw a reduction.

The government has been intensifying its efforts to enforce safety measures as the country recorded 161 more Covid-linked deaths. Punjab remained the hardest hit province, accounting for 111 of the day’s 161 coronavirus victims.

In the provincial capital Lahore, thousands of mourners attended a Youm-e-Ali procession. The federal government had issued a notice banning mass gatherings commemorating the occasion, but local negotiations with religious leaders failed. “We reject any restriction imposed on mourning ceremonies. Your local elections can take place, your markets are open, your government meetings are happening,” said the Shiite Ulema Council in a statement ahead of the rally.

In the 24 hours leading to Tuesday, 3,377 people tested positive taking active infections to 86,151 across the country. Testing numbered 37,587, measuring a more than 18 per cent reduction from the previous day’s tests. NCOC data released on May 3 showed 45,954 tests being carried out. Twitter users responding to Asad Umar’s tweet pointed out the reduction in tests, citing NCOC figures.

As of Tuesday, there were 6,464 patients admitted across the country with coronavirus, 666 of whom were on ventilators. Multan’s ventilators occupancy was the highest in the country with 76 per cent, followed by Lahore 67 per cent, Gujranwala 62 per cent and Bahawalpur 56 per cent.

Oxygen beds occupancy was high in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with Swabi 67 per cent, Swat 66 per cent and Peshawar 63 per cent taking the top three slots, followed by Lahore 56 per cent. As of Tuesday, a total of 837,523 cases have been detected so far, while the death toll is 18,310.