Vaccination of people over 60 starts on 10th: minister

Published March 8, 2021
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s national positivity ratio has risen from 3.21 per cent to 4.57pc in one month as 1,780 new Covid-19 patients and 39 deaths were reported in a single day.

The number of active cases in the country, which was around 17,000 last month, has now surpassed 18,000.

On the other hand, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umer announced that vaccination of people over 60 years would start from March 10.

“Vaccination of people 60 years and older will be starting from Wednesday the 10th of March. Vaccinations will be done in reverse order by age. Which means the oldest person who has registered will be vaccinated first. Full details will be issued tomorrow,” Mr Umer tweeted.

According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 32,149 tests were performed across the country on Feb 7, out of which results of 1,037 came back positive, showing a positivity rate of 3.21pc.

The ratio is measured on the basis of the number of positive cases in 100 samples.

However, Sunday’s data revealed that 38,887 tests were conducted out of which 1,780 samples were found positive, showing the positivity ratio had increased to 4.57pc.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), requesting not to be named, said though the difference seemed to be of only 1.3pc, in terms of number it was huge.

“Around 35,000 to 40,000 samples are collected daily so only 1pc increase in positivity rate results in a difference of 300 to 400 cases. Five months ago, on October 7, 2020, the positivity rate was just 1.87pc because only 583 cases were found positive from 31,168 samples. On Oct 7, nine deaths were reported, whereas on March 7, as many as 39 people succumbed to the virus,” he said.

The NCOC data, released on Sunday, showed that out of 39 deaths as many as 20 were on ventilators. Most casualties were reported in Punjab – 18 deaths – and 13 from Sindh. The remaining deaths occurred in other parts of the country.

A total of 216 ventilators were in use of Covid-19 patients across Pakistan on Sunday, out of which 36pc were occupied in Lahore, 30pc in Islamabad, 21pc in Peshawar and 17pc in Multan.

The data of oxygenated beds showed that 94pc were in use in Gujrat, the occupancy rate in Peshawar was 40pc, Multan, 29pc and Islamabad, 27pc. The number of active cases as of March 7 was 18,055.

As many as 590,508 cases have been detected since Feb 26, 2020, of which 259,666 were reported from Sindh, 177,008 from Punjab, 73,708 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 45,519 from Islamabad, 19,114 from Balochistan, 10,534 from Azad Kashmir and 4,959 cases were reported from Gilgit-Baltistan.

So far 559,248 patients have recovered and 13,205 have lost their struggle against the virus. The data further showed that 2,060 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country.

Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2021

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