Inter-provincial transport banned on weekends

Published April 5, 2021
Railways will continue to operate seven days a week, with 70pc capacity according to SOPs. — AP/File
Railways will continue to operate seven days a week, with 70pc capacity according to SOPs. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: As number of active cases of coronavirus has surpassed the figure of 60,000 first time since July last year with record number of patients in hospitals since the outbreak in the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday decided to ban inter-provincial transport on weekends from April 10.

Eighty-one patients died while 5,020 more persons contracted the deadly disease in a single day, according to the NCOC that mentioned 4,288 patients were hospitalised across the country, indicating the highest-ever number of Covid-19 patients in need of hospital care.

“In a session held at the NCOC, it was decided to ban inter-provincial transport for two days a week (Saturday and Sunday) with effect from April 10 to April 25. However goods, freight, medical and other emergency services will be exempted,” announced an official statement.

It was also decided that the railways would continue to operate seven days a week, with 70pc capacity according to SOPs.

NCOC records highest-ever number of Covid patients in need of hospital care as active cases surge past 60,000 mark

Participants of the NCOC meeting decided to review the situation on April 20 when they would meet again to discuss whether the inter-provincial transport ban should be withdrawn or extended.

According to the NCOC figures, 5,020 cases and 81 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours. The data also showed that number of active cases has surged to 60,072 as of April 4 when 4,288 of them were under treatment at hospitals.

This is the highest number of active cases in the country since July 16, 2020 when 70,787 active cases had been reported.

So far, 14,778 deaths from the novel coronavirus have been reported in the country.

NCOC data showed as many as 422 ventilators allocated for Covid patients were in use in the country. Regarding oxygenated beds, it showed a grim picture as Gujranwala’s 85pc hospital beds, Gujrat’s 78pc, Swat’s 71pc and Peshawar’s 70pc beds were in use.

Just a day ago, Minister for Special Initiatives Asad Umar had warned the masses that there were 3,568 patients in critical care as he tweeted: “Yesterday there were 3,568 Covid patients in critical care in Pakistan yesterday. This is the highest number since Covid started. The need for strong enforcement of sop’s is vital. Please take precautions and cooperate with administration in their enforcement efforts.”

However, the number of patients under treatment at hospitals rose further to 4,288, breaking the previous record of 3,568, according the latest NCOC data.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2021

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