ISLAMABAD: While cases of the novel coronavirus have been increasing and smart lockdowns are being enforced to control the deadly virus, more than 9,532 violations of health guidelines/instructions were observed across the country over the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, 4,100 more people were infected with Covid-19 and 102 lost their lives in a single day, taking the national tally of cases to 187,400 and casualties to 3,730.
According to data released by the National Coordination and Operation Centre, more than 874 markets/shops and one industrial unit were sealed and 1,409 transporters were fined and vehicles sealed.
Overall, 4,479 violations were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,445 in Punjab, 1,000 in Sindh, 818 in Balochistan, 585 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 156 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 49 in Islamabad.
Over 874 markets sealed, 1,409 transporters fined; 4,100 more people contract coronavirus, 102 die in 24 hours
A total of 24,599 tests were conducted across the country during the last 24 hours and 565 patients were on ventilators. No patient was on vent in AJK and GB.
A controversy cropped up on Tuesday about the emergence of first case of Covid-19 re-infection in Pakistan.
It was claimed on social media that a doctor of Mayo Hospital in Lahore had first contracted the disease three months ago while treating coronavirus patients. The doctor made a complete recovery and was discharged from an isolation centre after having tested negative. However, the doctor was again infected with the virus and is exhibiting more severe symptoms than he had at the time of first diagnosis, suggesting the existence of more than one strain of SARS-COV-2 — the coronavirus which causes Covid-19 disease.
However, the claim was rejected by medical experts not only in Pakistan, but also abroad.
An expert of infectious diseases in the United States, Dr Faheem Younus, disagreed with the claim. “Will I get COVID twice in the same year? EXTREMELY unlikely. Despite 8 million+ cases, reinfection hasn’t been reported. Patients who fully recover are likely immune. Duration of immunity unclear. Every recovered person is a barrier to future chains of community transmission,” he tweeted.
Dr Rana Safdar, Chief Disease Surveillance at the National Institute of Health and National Coordinator for Polio Eradication, while talking to Dawn, said that around 50,000 whole genome sequencings had been done across the globe to see if Covid-19 could infect a person again. “However, not a single study proved that the virus can infect a person who is already infected and recovered from the disease,” he added.
In reply to a question, Dr Safdar said that no test, including that of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), could be considered 100 per cent perfect. “There is a possibility that the first test of the doctor [of Mayo Hospital] would be false positive or second one would be false positive. There can be false positive and false negative tests in every patient; the false positive means that a person is found negative, but test shows he/she is infected with virus and vice versa,” he said.
Dr Safdar said the virus could re-infect a person only if it mutated and became another virus. “So far there is no evidence that the virus has mutated, so if once a person is infected, he/she cannot be infected again,” he added.
Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020