LAHORE: With no respite in pandemic in Punjab, the Covid-19 claimed lives of 62 more patients across the province during the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 7,333 so far.

The total number of infections in Punjab reached 264,010 after 2,837 more people tested positive for the virus in 38,811 tests conducted during the same period.

According to the official figures released on Saturday, 1,139 people who were in close contact with the Covid patients have tested positive for the virus in Punjab.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government had decided to increase the contact tracing and the number of smart lockdowns following a surge in Corona cases in the province, Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid told the National Command and Control Centre meeting.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr Faisal Sultan and health ministers of other provinces and officials also joined the meeting via video link.

Dr Rashid apprised the participants of the measures taken to increase the capacity of public sector hospitals, vaccination status, implementation of SOPs and smart lockdowns.

“The treatment capacity of the government hospitals is being gradually improved”, she said, adding that the SOPs were being implemented. “Overall, we are vaccinating around 27,000 citizens per day”, the health minister told the meeting.

She further said the Corona testing capacity had almost been doubled in Punjab. “Our current focus is on scaling up the contact tracing”, Ms Rashid said.

She said the smart lockdowns were being enforced in the cities showing higher positivity ratio, while the people were being regularly updated about the seriousness of the situation and the importance of SOPs.

Meanwhile, she said, the Oxygen supply to all the hospitals in the province remained uninterrupted, adding that Punjab was getting more vaccines very soon.

During the Ramazan, the vaccination was being carried out in two shifts, she said.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2021

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