Ministers urge to take precautions as Covid-19 positivity rate rises over 2pc

Published October 11, 2020
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday said that the country's Covid-19 positivity rate has risen above two per cent after a six-week average of less than 2pc. — DawnNewsTV/File
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday said that the country's Covid-19 positivity rate has risen above two per cent after a six-week average of less than 2pc. — DawnNewsTV/File

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday said that the country's Covid-19 positivity rate has risen above two per cent after a six-week average of less than 2pc, urging people to cooperate with the authorities in following coronavirus precautionary measures.

"Mini smart lockdowns have been imposed in Karachi, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Instructions have been issued to administrations across the country to ensure that precautionary measures are followed. But like in the past, success is impossible without the cooperation of the people," Umar tweeted.

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, echoing Umar's call for adhering to precautions, said that Pakistanis have been "lucky so far" but they must follow pre-emptive measures to prevent a second wave of the virus in the country.

"Large public gatherings must not take place. These alone can unleash second wave," the minister cautioned.

The appeals by the ministers come as Punjab on Sunday confirmed 203 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours — the first time since August 15 that the province has recorded more than 200 cases — taking its total infections to 100,687.

A day earlier, the Islamabad local administration decided to reimpose a ‘mini smart lockdown’ in various areas after an increase in Covid-19 cases was reported in the city.

Similar measures were taken by administrations in Karachi and AJK; at the start of October, the Sindh government imposed mini smart lockdown in various neighbourhoods in Karachi, including Manghopir, Creek Vista Apartment in Phase VIII of DHA and sub-division of Saddar after continued increase in coronavirus cases.

Last week, AJK officials expressed serious concern over increasing number of Covid-19 patients — particularly in Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot districts — and directed concerned officials to impose a lockdown and come up with comprehensive and effective suggestions within two days, according to an official handout.

Earlier this week, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) proposed restrictions on large-scale public gatherings and issued fresh guidelines for marriage halls after the country saw a rise in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

According to officials privy to the development, the NCOC pointed out that large-scale public gatherings were prohibited in most countries as they had the potential to cause an exponential increase in infections.

They said these gatherings should ideally not take place at all, but if unavoidable, must be organised with strict compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for which deliberations were under way.

Opinion

Editorial

Pipeline progress
25 Feb, 2024

Pipeline progress

THE outgoing caretaker government has decided to move forward with the much-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline...
Engaging the Taliban
25 Feb, 2024

Engaging the Taliban

DEALING with the Taliban — Afghanistan’s de facto rulers — continues to present a diplomatic dilemma for the...
Burden or opportunity?
Updated 25 Feb, 2024

Burden or opportunity?

Maryam Nawaz is embarking on a journey of challenges and opportunities.
Course correction
Updated 24 Feb, 2024

Course correction

PTI should not abandon its power and responsibility while expecting an external stakeholder to set things right.
The plot thickens
Updated 24 Feb, 2024

The plot thickens

THE recent explosive allegations by Liaquat Ali Chattha, the former commissioner of Rawalpindi, have thrust the...
Trigger-happy police
24 Feb, 2024

Trigger-happy police

ARE the citizens of Karachi becoming fair game again? There were some grisly signs of a rapid return to living...