HYDERABAD: The prevalence of Covid-19 positive cases has registered a surge in Hyderabad district with the ratio of 9pc having been registered on Oct 31 as against 2pc until a day earlier. Two more Covid-19 patients, including a doctor, died at the Liaquat University Hospital (LUH) isolation ward on Monday.

The district health officer (DHO) of Hyderabad registered the surge at 9pc last Saturday. On Oct 26, the ratio was recorded at 10.3pc, otherwise it varied between 2.1pc and 5.8pc.

The DHO’s figures indicate that 37 positive cases were reported in the district including 13 in City, six in Latifabad, rural and 17 in Qasimabad taluka.

The district currently has 304 active cases — 286 of them are in home isolation — and since the outbreak of pandemic Hyderabad has reported 85 deaths as per these statistics. A total of 5,086 patients have recovered as well. The rest were admitted in different health facilities of Hyderabad and Karachi. On Nov 1, the active cases were 281 and 263 were in home isolation.

The cases had declined in August after a persistent upward trend in July this year. Then in September the cases again started showing a surge. Figures show that 1,859 positive cases were reported in July in Hyderabad district and 2,112 in June. Positive cases dropped to 281 in August and 181 in September. But they again rose to 295 cases in the month of October, worrying doctors who were monitoring the situation.

On Monday, the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Tower Market branch had to be closed after a cashier was reported positive for coronavirus there. Two employees of education department, one each in Hyderabad and Latifabad schools, were also tested positive.

DHO Dr Lala Jaffar said a bank official had requested him for chlorination of the branch but before any step could be taken, the branch was closed by the bank management.

Likewise, the district education officer (elementary, secondary and higher secondary) has ordered closure of the two schools, according to the information shared with civil administration. He had also ordered closure of some schools on Oct 24 and Oct 28 after detection of positive cases.

PCR coronavirus tests were being conducted in Diagnostic and Research Laboratory (DRL) of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS).

The laboratory has once again started receiving a load of test samples from other districts of Sindh, in addition to Hyderabad. A rough estimate, according to a laboratory official, showed that close to 0.8m tests were conducted in the laboratory since the March-October period. These samples were received from 24 districts of Sindh. As many as 4,000-4,500 samples of Covid-19 PCR test were being received from these districts for Covid-19 tests.

“Hyderabad’s positivity ratio had risen to 40pc during peak of pandemic after March and Shikarpur district’s was recorded at 65pc,” said an officer. He said that cases remained on the decline in August. From mid-September onwards a spike was being noted in the cases again. “The positive ratio of Hyderabad’s cases calculated at our lab currently is 7pc,” he said.

Hyderabad’s first Covid-19 case was reported on March 10 in Qasimabad. The cases rose to over 100 in a single day of the month’s last week when people belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat were tested positive in its largest centre, in Wahdat Colony.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2020

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