Ramsha Jahangir
Ramsha Jahangir

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has become the 40th country where 100 or more people have died of the novel coronavirus and the national tally of Covid-19 cases is moving towards 6,000.

Moreover, the federal government on Tuesday claimed that predictive estimates showed that Covid-19 cases in Sindh were more than expectations, while Punjab performed better in terms of combating the deadly virus.

The federal capital reported its second death on Monday night when a Covid-19 patient died at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), but again a controversy arose whether the death should be placed in the list for Punjab or Islamabad.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said at a media briefing that though Sindh announced restrictions/lockdown earlier and Punjab took the step later, the latter’s performance was better than the former.

Without mentioning the estimated numbers, he said that more cases of Covid-19 were reported in Sindh as compared to predictive modelling. “On the other hand, Punjab has shown much better results despite the fact that its population is half of the total population of Pakistan and it introduced restrictions after Sindh,” he added.

PM’s aide says Punjab performs better than Sindh in combating pandemic

Dr Mirza said that as per predictive modelling over 18,000 cases should have been reported in the country by April 14. “However, less than 6,000 cases have been reported in Pakistan which is a huge progress,” he added.

“Our first case of Covid-19 was also reported late, on Feb 26, due to which our numbers are far better than other countries and that is why reported deaths in Pakistan are fewer,” he said.

Dr Mirza said the people should not be content over his statement and should continue observing social distancing because things could become worse anytime.

He said two million people had been infected with the disease globally and about 120,000 died. He said the good thing was that around 450,000 Covid-19 patients had recovered.

Meanwhile, PIMS media coordinator Dr Waseem Khuwaja told Dawn that a 72-year-old man died of coronavirus on Monday night. “It was the second death in the hospital, but the death has been included in the list of Punjab as the deceased belonged to the province. There are 15 patients in isolation ward of the hospital and the condition of two of them is serious,” he said.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat, while talking to Dawn, said that as per the standard operating procedure the deceased had to be included in the list of area or province of domicile. “So death was included in the list of Punjab,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that earlier a woman had died at Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad, but the death was included in Punjab since she was a resident of Rawalpindi.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2020

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