ISLAMABAD: While 1,404 more people tested positive for coronavirus and 31 lost their lives over the past 24 hours, the number of active cases in the country has reduced by half in two-and-a-half months.
The number of active cases had surpassed the 50,000 mark in December 2020. It started decreasing the following month and came down to 25,635 (51.27pc) on Sunday.
This is the second time that active cases have been on the decline, as earlier the number of active cases had started dropping during the first wave of Covid-19 after crossing the 50,000 mark in June 2020. The number of active cases kept decreasing the following months and finally reached below 6,000 in September. However, their number began growing again to have reached 11,190 on Oct 27 and 30,362 on Nov 18, following which the government officially announced the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic.
The active cases kept rising and surpassed the 50,000 mark in December.
Virus claims 31 more lives with 1,404 new cases reported in a single day
With the renewed measures intended to flatten the curve, active cases have been on the decline since December and reduced by half at present.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 1,404 cases and 31 deaths were reported due to Covid-19 in a single day, bringing the total number of active cases across the country to 25,635. Of them, only 2,125 patients are under treatment at hospitals. The NCOC data shows that 264 coronavirus patients have been put on ventilators.
The government also shared the data of ventilators occupancy in different cities, with 37pc of ventilators in use in Lahore and Multan, 30pc in Islamabad and 25pc in Peshawar.
The virus has so far claimed 12,307 lives in Pakistan.
Pakistan will soon receive 17 million doses of the UK-developed Oxford University-Astra-Zeneca vaccine, with delivery of the first consignment of 7m doses expected before April through the Covax facility. The next 10m doses will come later, likely before June. This will help protect 8.5m people from the virus.
According to a statement issued by British High Commission, United Kingdom’s world-leading support to Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax) will help Pakistan in its Covid-19 vaccination programme.
“So far, the UK has committed £548m to the global Covax initiative, making the UK the largest single donor. The Covax initiative is the key way that more than 180 countries will have fair, early access to Covid-19 vaccines. The UK has also encouraged other countries to contribute over $1 billion to Covax,” it stated.
Covax has committed to supplying vaccines for 45m Pakistanis this year alone. Covax is an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines for one billion people by the end of 2021.
British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner said the people of the UK and Pakistan had come together to fight Covid-19. “The Covax facility has been the main way the world has united to make sure all countries get the vaccines they need as quickly as possible, including Pakistan. The UK has been a world leader in supporting Covax, and Covax has committed to supplying Pakistan with Covid-19 vaccines for 45m people this year,” he added.
The UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan during pandemic, providing around £20m in aid to help Pakistan fight the pandemic. This includes funding the World Health Organisation (WHO) since April 2020 to build lab testing capacity through training and provision of equipment across Pakistan.
“The UK-hosted Global Vaccines Summit on 4th June 2020 raised US$8.8 billion from 32 donor governments and 12 foundations, corporations and organisations to replenish Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) funding over the coming five years. This will help support the delivery of life-saving vaccinations in 68 countries and will be integral to the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine once it is developed,” the statement said.
Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2021