LAHORE: The provincial capital is persistently reporting more than 60pc of the positive cases in Punjab, creating an alarm for the health authorities to take drastic measures to contain the virus.

The Covid-19 situation is worsening with every passing day in the city having an over 11 million population as the total number of the infections in Lahore crossed 100,000 mark on Friday.

Corona Expert Advisory Group Punjab chairman Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat has also been tested positive for the virus. His condition is said to be serious due to severe breathing issues and is under treatment at the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI).

Senior doctor critical in hospital

Friday’s official figures depicted an alarming situation suggesting that a record 1,868 more people tested positive for the virus in Punjab during the last 24 hours. Of them, the provincial capital Lahore reported 1,159 new infections, another record number of positive cases of the virus in a day during the third wave of the virus.

Most government hospitals of the city were already running short of health facilities to meet the tremendously growing number of admissions.

The medical experts said the massive surge in new cases revealed the worse conditions during the starting phase of the third wave of Covid-19 compared to the first one that began in early 2020s. They suggested that only preventive measures and natural and vaccine-induced antibodies could neutralise the coroanvirus and the new variants.

“The frequent increase in the deaths and the new infections can also be prevented by expediting the vaccination to the people but we are feeling sorry for them as the pace of vaccination is slow,” one of the leading physicians said.

Requesting anonymity, he said the government was least bothered about public health and lives, particularly in the largest province which was having the maximum percentage of the virus burden. He said the poor healthcare arrangements and disappointing role of the health managers and the medics as well in the tertiary care hospitals of the province had made the fight against the disease all the more difficult and challenging.

Multiple complaints of refusal for admissions had surfaced during the last couple of weeks, risking the lives of critical patients of the virus reaching there with low saturation, he said.

He further lamented that the low ratio of Covid-19 tests in Punjab had also been a bigger threat to calculate the actual impact of coronavirus. Friday’s official figures confirmed the serious concerns of the medical experts as only 15,818 Covid-19 tests were performed during the last 24 hours in Punjab.

According to the data, the total number of infections in Punjab reached 193,054 while in the provincial capital, 100,596.

Similarly, the virus claimed lives of 23 more critical patients in Punjab in a day, taking the death toll to 5,917.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government said the health workers would get second dose of vaccination and arrangements had been finalised at the Expo Centre, Johar Town. The Hall No 3 and counter number 11 had been designated to vaccinate them at the Expo Centre, it said, adding that in Punjab 107,793 health professionals had been given first dose of the vaccine.

As many as 523,008 health professionals were registered for coronavirus vaccination in Punjab.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2021

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