ISLAMABAD: While as many as 1,629 coronavirus cases and 23 deaths were reported in a single day, the provinces informed the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday that they had almost completed the training of the staff of teaching hospitals and tehsil and district hospitals regarding Covid-19 vaccination.
A meeting of the NCOC, presided over by National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan, was also informed that all foreign travelers, especially from the United Kingdom and South Africa, were being tested at the airports and those tested positive were being quarantined.
The meeting discussed updates from the provinces on positivity and critical data, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs or alternate measures to treat Covid-19 other than medical treatment) implementation, preparations for vaccine inoculation and national vaccine strategy.
According to a statement, the provincial chief and health secretaries, including those of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, informed the NCOC that all necessary measures were being taken prior to the availability of coronavirus vaccine.
1,629 infections, 23 deaths reported
The chief secretaries informed the meeting about the steps being taken to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) and NPIs implementation. They also briefed the meeting on the positivity ratio in their respective provinces and cities with higher positive cases.
The NCOC was told that a huge amount of fines had been imposed and restaurants, shops and business centers closed for not complying with the SOPs.
The meeting reviewed the overall situation of coronavirus in the county. It was informed that all foreign travelers, especially from the UK and South Africa, were being tested at the airports and those tested positive for coronavirus were being quarantined.
The NCOC discussed in details the complete procedure of vaccination, its time of availability, distribution process and most demanding areas where it can be used at the earliest.
The meeting stressed the need for purchasing quality vaccine to ensure successful treatment of Covid-19 patients.
It said the government would keep the record of vaccinated persons and those coming to Pakistan from abroad would have to provide a legal document confirming that they had been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the NCOC data showed that 2,731 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country, of them 300 were on ventilators. The total number of active cases across the country was 33,820.
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), while welcoming the international cricket and players in Pakistan, alleged that due to ill planning of the administration revival of cricket has become painful for the people of Karachi as roads remained blocked for security reasons.
“Two major hospitals and a few smaller ones along with an isolation unit for Covid-19 at Expo Centre are located in the area and traffic jams will become havoc for the sick people visiting these health facilities for emergencies and treatment. Moreover, it will be difficult for doctors and paramedics to reach their hospitals to serve sick people,” PMA secretary general Dr Qaisar Sajjad said.
“In this scenario the PMA suggests to authorities to shift the National Stadium out of city; we also request the authorities to come up with an appropriate traffic plan that does not make the lives of public difficult. Close the roads only at the arrival and departure of players and let the roads open for traffic during the players’ stay at the stadium,” he added.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021