PESHAWAR: The health department has been advised by National Command and Operation Centre to strictly monitor the trend of admission in hospitals, positivity of swabs and surveillance to be able to take appropriate measures to prevent the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Situation is under control as the positivity of suspected patients has dropped to 0.7 per cent which means that there are seven confirmed cases in total of 1,000 samples tested in laboratories. During the last 24 hours, only 28 cases were recorded out of 4,000 samples in the province,” officials said.
They said that no death was reported and admissions in hospitals at the moment were 68 including three on ventilators, 43 on high flow oxygen and 22 on low flow oxygen.
Officials said that NCOC daily held virtual meetings with the representatives of all provinces in which guidelines were issued in view of the threats posed by the winter season.
Officials term situation under control as positivity rate drops to 0.7 pc
Therefore, the hospitals were strictly monitored on the pattern of June during which the health facilities ran out of beds due to rise in inflow of serious patients, they added.
“This exercise will continue till March as the cold weather can cause upsurge in the infection. We have so far reported 1,269 deaths due to coronavirus since the advent of the virus in the province but during the ongoing month, only six persons have passed away of the infection,” they said.
They said that they had already reserved 5,440 beds for Covid-19 patients throughout the province. They added that the number of beds could be enhanced if they saw an upward trend in patients requiring hospitalisation.
Officials said that the province was conducting about 4,000 tests in 12 public sector Covid-19 laboratories free of cost to ascertain the actual quantum of infected patients. Recently, the health department received 40,000 kits from National Disaster Management Authority to ensure that the suspected people are diagnosed continuously and there is no interruption in investigation process.
They said that there would be no shortage of kits as they were acquiring stocks in advance because the department had the potential to conduct 6,000 tests per day. Only the public Health Reference Laboratory in Khyber Medical University had the capacity to conduct 1,500 tests per day on average, they said.
A total of 58,917 Covid-19 samples from 32 districts in public and private educational institutes have been collected since mid-October 2020, out of which a total of 542 persons turned out positive with a 1.08 per cent positivity ratio which is normal.
However, testing would continue as most of the schools’ inmates were symptomless but they were carriers and could transmit the virus to the elderly and others with underlying health condition in their homes and in community, they said.
The NCOC is of the opinion that the country cannot afford lockdowns, therefore, now focus is on smart and micro lockdowns under which only a house or a street from where cases are reported, are closed for specified period.
The district administration is responsible for enforcing of standard operating procedures (SOPs) because it is a considered opinion globally that till the arrival of vaccines, wearing face mask, physical distancing and hand washing act as preventive measure.
“We have to live with Covid-19 for next few months, therefore, the only option remains adherence to SOPs as well as monitoring the hospitals and positivity trend to take steps in the situation go hard,” said officials.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2020