Second Covid wave under way in Pakistan

Updated 28 Oct 2020

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses the media on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses the media on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: As active cases of Covid-19 surpassed the 11,000 mark, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Tuesday formally announced that the second wave of the deadly virus has started in the country. He also said that a time schedule can be set for certain businesses to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

During a media briefing, the SAPM said the number of Covid-19 cases was increasing every day. “A few weeks ago we were getting 400 to 500 cases per day, but now it has increased to 700 to 750 cases. Moreover, the mortality rate has also increased. Another ratio which is considered is percentage positivity that remained less than two per cent, but now it has reached close to 3pc,” he said.

It is worth mentioning that the number of positive cases in samples of 100 is called percentage positivity.

Active coronavirus cases cross 11,000 mark; PM’s aide laments SOPs not being followed

Dr Sultan said the masses were not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to the extent it was necessary to avoid the spread of the virus. “It has become necessary to strictly implement the SOPs. We will start it from local level. In districts where the disease is more rampant we will start from there. Focus will be on those areas which have been badly hit by the virus. We are deliberating on the restrictions but district administrations have been advised to impose fines on buses, wedding halls, restaurants and other crowded areas,” he added.

The SAPM said time schedule would be fixed for some businesses to control the spread of the virus. “We will discuss it at the platform of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and it will be finalised after getting input from all stakeholders. Moreover, a mechanism is being devised to get complaints from the masses. People will be requested to register complaints regarding violation of SOPs. On Wednesday (today), we will discuss it with the provinces to finalise the proposals,” he added.

According to data released by the NCOC, 773 people tested positive for Covid-19 across the country on Monday and the number of total positive cases reached 11,190 on Tuesday.

The number of active cases dropped to 6,000 last month.

Out of 1,884 ventilators allocated for Covid-19 patients, 93 were occupied on Tuesday. There was no patient on ventilators in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services Sajid Shah, while talking to Dawn, appealed to the masses to follow health guidelines. “We cannot win the war against the deadly virus without cooperation of the people. A few weeks ago Pakistan was being praised globally for its efforts and strategy to control the virus, but people stopped following the SOPs due to which the number of cases again started increasing,” he added.

Mr Shah said that if the number of Covid-19 cases continued to increase, the government would have no option but to take unpopular decisions due to which the country’s economy would be affected.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2020