ISLAMABAD/RAWALPINDI: The capital city recorded its highest single-day spike of Covid-19 cases when 131 people tested positive on Saturday while 28 more confirmed patients emerged in Rawalpindi.

Moreover, two patients, aged 68 and 43 years, died of the virus in Islamabad. They were residents of F-6 and 1-10, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia told Dawn.

Moreover, Taxila and Attock also reported more positive cases.

Prior to this in the capital city, 104 patients had tested positive on May 20. With the latest cases, the tally of confirmed cases rose to 1457.

There are 1,293 active cases as 152 patients have recovered while 12 died of the disease.

Officials said out of the 131 cases, 13 cases were reported from I-10/1, eight from G-9/2, seven from Chak Shahzad, six from G-11/3, five each from I-10/3, E-16/3, Bhara Kahu, I-8, four from I-10/4, three each from G-6/1-3, Tarlai, G-8, Ghouri Town, F-11/1, Shah Allah Ditta, G-10/3, two each from Tarlai, Soan Garden, Madina Town, Farash Town, Banigala, E-11, F-10, G-11/2, G-7, G-5/1, G-10/4, G-13/1 and Khanna.

District Health Officer Dr Zaeem Zia said 125 contacts of 91 positive patients reported the other day have so far been traced. They have been isolated and their samples sent to lab. As many as 72 of them have been quarantined, he added.

Besides the 28 new positive cases in Rawalpindi, 17 patients were discharged.

The number of confirmed patients in the district reached 2104 while 77 people have died and 759 others discharged after recovery.

At present, 1268 confirmed patients from all the seven tehsils of Rawalpindi - Gujar Khan, Taxila, Murree, Kotli Sattian, Kalar Syedan and Kahuta - are under treatment.

As many as 311 of the patients are admitted to the Rawalpindi Institute of Urology, Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and 957 isolated in their houses.

Moreover, 679 suspected patients were also brought to the three hospitals and their samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and Benazir Bhutto Hospital laboratory but the reports are awaited.

The local administrations also keep 3263 people on quarantine who had been in close contacts with confirmed patients while 2306 people have been isolated in their houses. District health authority teams have been deployed to monitor the health condition of those isolated in their houses.

The number of patients is increasing in Rawalpindi city and cantonment areas as 1663 confirmed patients reported in last two months while 89 patients reported from Gujar Khan, 81 from Taxila, 17 from Kahuta, five from Kalar Syedan and 14 patients from Murree.

On Saturday, the district administration and the health authority sealed 10 streets, 10 houses and isolated 49 people while it opened the lockdown in 18 houses as 103 people completed their 14-day isolation period and their laboratory tests showed they were not infected.

Commissioner retired Capt Mohammad Mehmood told Dawn that total 28 cases were reported from the Rawalpindi district, 18 from Jhelum, two from Attock and one from Chakwal.

“No death was reported from the four districts while 23 patients were discharged after recovering from the disease.”

He said the Punjab government had increased the timings of bazaars and markets but all traders associations and the district administrations had been directed to coordinate with each other to implement the standard operating procedures.

He said the government had also allowed shrines to open seven days a week.

He said shops were to open from 9am to 10pm till May 24.

Taxila

Nine more patients tested positive in Taxila during the last 24 hours.

According to the health authorities, two officials of Taxila police station and five members of a family were among those who tested positive.

Deputy district officer health Dr Sara Qadeer confirmed that there was an increase in the positive cases.

She said the station house officer of Taxila had tested positive on Tuesday and samples of his subordinate staff were collected and sent to the NIH the same day. Two of them tested positive on Saturday and were subsequently isolated.

She said the SHO was still isolated at home.

Attock

Two new cases were reported from Attock taking the tally in the district to 99.

According to health authorities, the two new patients were from union council Jalalia in Hazro and both were local transmission.

District focal person for Covid-19 Dr Asif Arbab Niazi confirmed that the Hazro tehsil had become a hotspot for novel coronavirus as three people from the tehsil had died and 13 others, including two police commandos, tested positive.

He said the first death in the district from Covid-19 was also reported from this tehsil on April 13.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2020