Minister anticipates virus cases spike during Eid, Muharram

Updated 08 Jul 2020

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RAWALPINDI: Traffic policemen shift a road blocker to reopen a road on Tuesday after it was sealed by authorities as a preventive measure against Covid-19.—AFP
RAWALPINDI: Traffic policemen shift a road blocker to reopen a road on Tuesday after it was sealed by authorities as a preventive measure against Covid-19.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has provided 1,227 oxygenated beds to hospitals across the country for the patients suffering from novel corona virus.

Although all data and statistics show the Covid-19 graph has started moving downwards and there is no need for further beds and equipment, the government has decided to fulfil its commitment to providing 2,100 oxygenated beds by July 31.

The country reported 2,776 Covid-19 cases and 70 deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of cases to 236,422 and fatalities to 4,888.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, while talking to Dawn, said that as per the current situation there was no need to provide more beds and facilities, but it was decided to build permanent facilities to deal with any untoward situation in future.

2,776 more people contract virus, 70 lose their lives in single day

“We want to create physical capacity in our hospitals. A disease surveillance system has been established due to which hundreds of hospitals have been connected to a central system. We want to build a system, similar to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States, in Pakistan,” he added.

In reply to a question, Mr Umar said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was anticipating spikes in Covid-19 cases on the occasion of Eidul Azha and during Muharram. “On the occasion of Eidul Azha a large number of people would gather at animal markets and then for Eid prayers and they would hug each other due to which the virus will spread. I am not afraid of people travelling to their native areas as coronavirus has evenly spread across the country. The other occasion during which the virus can spread is Muharram-ul-Haram,” he added.

According to a statement issued by the NCOC, as many as 1,227 oxygenated beds have been provided to hospitals across the country. A meeting of the NCOC, presided over by Asad Umar and attended by the provincial chief secretaries, was informed that 330 beds had been provided in Punjab — 260 to Expo Centre and 70 to Social Security Hospital in Lahore.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 250 beds have been provided to Peshawar Institute of Cardiology and 70 to Charsadda Hospital. In Sindh, 70 beds have been provided to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

In Islamabad, 155 have been provided to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, 59 to CDA Hospital and 13 to Polyclinic Hospital. In Azad Kashmir, 20 beds each have been provided to Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences, DHQ Kotli, CMH Muzaffarabad and DHQ Bhimber.

In Balochistan, 100 beds have been provided to Fatima Jinnah Hospital. Gilgit-Baltistan has got 100 beds.

According to the NCOC, 439 out of 1,525 ventilators allocated for Covid-19 patients were occupied on Tuesday. As many as 6,392 violations of health guidelines were reported from across the country and action was taken against the violators accordingly.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2020