LAHORE: With 36 more deaths, Punjab reported 1,632 new coronavirus positive cases on Friday, taking the total number of infections to 182,576 so far.
The situation turned worse in Lahore where 991 people tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours. One of the major reasons for the sharp surge of the cases in the city was the presence of a highly infectious UK variant of the virus.
Despite confirmation of the third wave of the virus in Punjab, the government seems reluctant to increase the number of the Covid-19 tests.
On Friday, according to the official figures, the government conducted only 15,895 tests across the province.
The Punjab government has released a new list of high-burden districts showing the infection rate of the virus increasing fast.
Gurjanwala is at the top of the list with 9pc infection rate, Lahore and Multan have 8pc infection rate, Faisalabad and Sargodha 6pc and Rawalpindi 4pc.
Official figures suggested that though the next-generation sequencing (NGS) system has detected the fast spread UK variant, the death rate has not been much alarming in Punjab.
According to the data, after 36 reported deaths, the tally in Punjab has reached 5,698 while it is 2,303 in the provincial capital.
As far as new positive cases are concerned, the Sheikhupura district has reported the highest 71 new infections in a day for the first time since the pandemic hit Punjab.
The other cities, including Gujrat, Faisalabad and Sialkot, also continued to report the maximum number of new infections daily after Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sialkot.
The government continued to vaccinate the elderly in Punjab and shared details in this respect.
The official figures suggested that the health teams had vaccinated 7,582 people who were 60 or above at the centres established across the province.
In a related development, the University of Health Sciences (UHS) and its affiliated medical and dental colleges will remain closed for two weeks due to a rise in the Covid-19 cases.
A spokesperson for the UHS said physical classes at the university and its affiliated colleges and institutions would remain suspended from March 15 to March 28.
During this period, however, all the classes would be shifted to the online mode as per the notified timetable.
According to the spokesperson, the examinations would not be postponed during the holidays and the ongoing professional examinations would be held as per the schedule announced earlier.
Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2021