LAHORE: The Punjab government has imposed lockdown in 10 ‘hot spots’(streets) in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan because of the increasing number of coronavirus positive cases being reported there.
The province has recorded 24 deaths during the past 24 hours, as compared to the 43 reported a day earlier.With the latest deaths, the total Covid-19 death toll in Punjab has reached 4,109.
Punjab has also recorded all-time high 847 new Covid-19 cases, taking their total number to 140,188.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government claims that no patient has so far been reported in the province with the coronavirus new variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom.
847 new cases reported in province
The Punjab’s primary and secondary healthcare department spokesman says the government has started taking samples of people returning from the UK and testing positive for the virus, for gene sequencing.
The samples of such patients were being sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for gene sequencing and it would take over a week to get reports back.
The spokesman denied that gene sequencing of a coronavirus-positive female patient staying in a hotel had been done. “It is not possible to declare any kind of coronavirus without the gene sequencing results,” the spokesman says and adds any confirmation would be made after receiving reports from the NIH.
Meanwhile, as many as 511 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Lahore, followed by 61 in Rawalpindi, 34 in Okara, 28 in Faisalabad and 24 each in Gujrat and Rahim Yar Khan.
The Punjab government, in separate notifications for Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan, announced imposition of smart lockdown in 10 areas of these cities as a constant increase in positivity percentage and prevalence of Covid-19 was registered there over the past two weeks. “Hence, it is mandatory to take all possible safety measures for prevention and control of this disease,” a notification says.
In Lahore, a smart lockdown has been imposed in eight streets falling in Harbanspura, Gulberg, DHA, Lake City and Singpura areas. In Gujranwala and Multan smart lockdown has been imposed in Street 2, Phase-I, Rahwali Cantt and behind Hascol Petrol Pump, Iram Colony, near Abu Bakar Masjid, Ashraf Colony, respectively.
The spokesman says the primary and secondary healthcare department has so far conducted 2.493 million tests, detecting124,461 coronavirus positive patients in the province.
He says 255 hospitals in Punjab had ample facilities to treat the coronavirus patients, while some 8,261 beds had been reserved for them, including 2,179 oxygenated ones. Currently, he said, 416 oxygenated beds had been occupied, while 1,763 were vacant.
The spokesman says 665 ventilators had been reserved for the coronavirus patients, including 249 in Lahore. Currently, 309 ventilators are available for such patients across the province, he adds.
He advised the public to ensure protective measures to save themselves from the infection. In case of showing symptoms, he says, people should immediately contact 1033 helpline.
Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2021