Record number of Covid-19 cases, deaths in 24 hours

Updated Jun 06 2020

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NCOC brings over 15,450 hospitals online, launches app to provide information about ventilators availability; PM urges adherence to precautionary measures. — AFP/File
NCOC brings over 15,450 hospitals online, launches app to provide information about ventilators availability; PM urges adherence to precautionary measures. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: With the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC) bringing over 15,450 hospitals online to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakis­tan on Friday witnessed its single-day death toll crossing the 100 mark with the number of cases in the last 24 hours also surging past 5,000, taking the total number of infections to 91,365.

Moreover, according to information gathered by the NCOC from all the provinces, a total of 1,311 markets and 83 industries were sealed and 2,221 vehicles imp­ounded across the country on Friday over violations of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Smart lockdown was imposed in 848 areas with a total population of 269,800 people.

With the 15,459 hospitals brought online, the NCOC has obtained the entire strength and capacity of each and every hospital as the inventory of all these hospitals is shared with the NCOC on a daily basis. The relevant medical superintendents have access to the online facility so that they can change their hospitals’ inventory as and when necessary.

NCOC brings over 15,450 hospitals online, launches app to provide information about ventilators availability; PM urges adherence to precautionary measures

Chief secretaries of the provinces and of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir briefed a meeting presided over by Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who is heading the NCOC, on actions taken for SOPs compliance and smart lockdowns implemented in the areas with maximum Covid-19 cases.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza updated the forum about ‘We Care’ campaign for protection of frontline healthcare workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic across the country. Overall 20,000 frontline health workers were trained in two months through videos, PPE (personal protective equipment) guidelines and provisional course.

Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar stressed the need for continuing to hammer SOPs compliance in the masses and said the positive outcome of enforcement should also be projected at the forum and in the media.

The minister said the government had a two-pronged strategy — focusing on disease spread control and upgrading the healthcare system with effective deployment.

Pak Nigahban app

The NCOC, which was established a couple of months ago to oversee, coordinate and channelise the country’s resources to overcome the Covid-19 crisis, on Friday launched an app called Pak Nigahban to provide information to the public about hospitals and the availability of ventilators. This will help avoid burden on major hospitals.

According to a press release, 1,110 hospitals across the country have been linked with the app. The app will be instrumental in providing care in emergency situations and can be downloaded from Google Play Store. A link has also been given on the government’s Covid-19 website, covid.gov.pk, to download it.

The app has been launched as part of the NCOC’s Resource Management System (RMS) to ensure optimum utilisation of healthcare facilities against Covid-19.

The RMS system allows the provinces to review the facilities available within the hospitals in their respective areas. Under this system, 15,459 hospitals across the country have been linked. This will enable the provinces to review the facilities available in the hospitals falling under their precincts, the press release said.

The NCOC also launched a WhatsApp 1166 emergency service where doctors and health workers can register their complaints and other relevant information.

According to the NCOC, presently 1,400 ventilators were available in the country and the number of patients on them are said to be 306. During last couple of months, the NCOC managed to get ready the country’s health system to meet challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and improved testing capacity from 400 in March to 30,000 till date.

The government has also acted promptly to handle the situation and injected Rs50 billion into the health sector, besides giving Rs144bn to the poor and daily wage earners under the Ehsaas cash distribution programme.

A training programme for doctors and health workers called “We Care” was also launched to impart training to 100,000 doctors and health practitioners and so far 20,000 of them have been trained.

Meanwhile, the country has become self-sufficient in masks, PPE, sanitisers through indigenous production by local firms.

A system is also being devised to revive all basic health units (BHUs) and network of dispensaries both in rural and urban localities.

PM urges SOPs adherence

Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country could still avert tough times in its anti-coronavirus fight if people followed the SOPs for which the role of Corona Relief Tiger Force in creating awareness and enforcement was important, adds APP.

“Even now, if the people are made to take precautions and follow SOPs, I am sure we will not have to go through tough times other countries are going through,” the prime minister said while addressing the volunteers of Corona Relief Tigers Force to apprise them of their future role, particularly in enforcement of the anti-virus SOPs as well as relief services in areas under lockdown.

PM Khan said Allah Almighty had showered His great blessing on Pakistan by protecting it against the much-apprehended bad times for which he lauded the role of the people as well as his team in assessing the situation and making right decisions.

He said only Pakistan and the United Kingdom had realised the necessity of the volunteers force. Around 35,000 volunteers turned up to work in Italy and 60,000 in the UK, but in Pakistan, over one million had registered and about 175,000 came to work which showed a great passion among the Pakistani people.

The prime minister said the government would need the Tiger Force’s support to apprise the people of the importance of SOPs at shops and in markets and industries, which were opened subject to adherence to certain conditions.

He said Pakistan was the only Muslim country that allowed Taraweeh congregations during the holy month of Ramazan and due ulema’s cooperation the country had not seen any outbreak from mosques. In that regard, he added, the Tigers Force volunteers also played a positive role by visiting the mosques and making the people follow the guidelines.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2020