ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan saw active Covid-19 cases falling by 10,000 in a month, it also reported another 1,974 people contracting the virus and 55 dying of it on Monday.
The national positivity ratio stood at 6.13 per cent. Abbottabad once again recorded the highest rate at 15.95pc, though the percentage was lower than Sunday when it was calculated at 25.53pc.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), cases had surpassed 50,000 in November, but then started to fall and by Monday, they were 39,488.
“It is the second time the number of cases has dropped. Following detection of Covid-19 in the last week of February, cases gradually increased and ultimately crossed 50,000.
However, in July, the infection rate started to fall with only 5,831 active cases remaining on Sept 13,” an official of the National Institute of Health (NIH) said on condition of anonymity.
“But, October saw cases rising again and by the last week of November, the figure was well over 50,000. In December, we once again witnessed a downward trend, which is expected to continue,” he added.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 321 ventilators were in use across the country.
In Multan, 45pc of the vents allocated for Covid-19 patients were occupied, 45pc in Islamabad, Peshawar 36pc and Lahore, 34pc. No patient required a ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.
Data on oxygen beds showed that in Peshawar 62pc were in use, 38pc were occupied in Multan, 32pc in Rawalpindi and 31pc in Islamabad.
The NCOC further revealed that the national positivity ratio stood at 6.13pc with Abbottabad figuring on top with 15.95pc, followed by Karachi, 14.81pc and Hyderabad, 14.47pc.
Positivity ratio in AJK was 12.54pc, Sindh, 8.61pc; Islamabad, 5.94pc; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5.16pc; Punjab, 4.06pc and Balochistan, 2.71pc.
As many as 2,263 Covid-19 patients were in critical condition across the country as of Monday.
Meanwhile Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), the representative body of doctors, has expressed its concerns over the rapid rise in Covid-19 patients in the second wave of the pandemic.
“Unfortunately the public never followed standard operating procedures and the government too failed to implement them. The PMA had been continuously issuing health alerts and giving suggestions to the government about preventive measures since Jan 22, 2020. At that time, the pandemic was in its initial stages as the number of deaths in China was just six and positive patients were 3,000,” PMA Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad said.
Novel coronavirus was first detected in China in December last year which then spread to other countries. Pakistan closed its borders and took a number of steps to stop the spread. The first case of the virus was reported in Pakistan in the last week of February.
On March 13, the meeting of the National Security Committee, comprising top civil and military leadership, was held to discuss the crisis which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2020