ISLAMABAD: Though only 96 cases of Covid-19 were reported in Islamabad, health experts said it was due to the low number of tests - less than 1,200 - conducted on Saturday.
The situation will become clear once people return from their native areas and the number of tests surpass the figure of 5,000 daily.
According to data, the positivity rate remained 8.07 per cent. Moreover, four deaths were reported from the capital.
When contacted, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia agreed that the low number of cases was because of the less tests.
“We used to conduct over 5,000 tests and sometimes over 6,000 a day but the number decreased during the Eid holidays. There are a number of reasons behind the decline in the tests. A large number of people have gone to their native areas due to which the demand for tests decreased,” he said.
“On the other hand, there was less number of staff in labs. Even the number of samples collected through contact tracing decreased as people were not available or not willing for testing,” he said.
Dr Zia said private labs also contributed a lot to the number of tests but during the Eid holidays the number also decreased.
“We hope that during the current week we will again start conducting over 5,000 tests per day and then we will be in a position to say if the number of cases decreased or not,” he said.
He said though only 96 cases were reported the positivity rate was still very high at 8.07pc.
“The virus is very much present so people should strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs). They should wear masks and avoid social gatherings,” he said.
Replying to another question, Dr Zia agreed that people were showing more responsibility and the ratio of following SOPs had increased.
“The virus is controlled by following the SOPs and vaccination. People should get themselves vaccinated at the earliest so that we would move toward herd immunity,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to a statement, the district administration and police ensured that no public gathering was held in picnic points and parks such as Lake View Park, Kinara Point, Rawal Dam, Shadra Point, Bari Imam. The spots identified by media were also cleared and police presence ensured there.
Market activities will resume on May 17 (today) but all markets and shops of less essential services will close by 8pm. Resumption of normal working hours for public/private offices will also start from Monday.
However, 50pc work from home policy will continue to be implemented. All types of indoor and outdoor dining will remain closed except takeaway from restaurants. This order will remain in force till May 19.
The number of patients also reduced in the Rawalpindi district as only 18 people tested positive on Sunday and three people died.
Moreover, 71 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours.
Haji Sheikh Mohammad, 65, a resident of Mohanpura, was brought to Quaid-i-Azam International Hospital on May 15 where he died.
Fazeelat Bibi, 34, a resident of Bagga Sheikhan, passed away at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences a day after being hospitalised there.
Aziza Tahir, 75, of Airport Housing Society, also died at Pims where she was taken on May 15.
In Rawalpindi district, there are 973 active patients and 109 of them are in hospitals and 864 home isolated. As many as 665 patients are waiting for the results of their Covid-19 serology.
Of the new cases, three were reported from the cantonment, six from Potohar Town and four from Rawal Town.
Moreover, one patient each arrived from Taxila, Murree, Islamabad and two from Attock.
Officials said 15 of the new patients were admitted in Holy Family Hospital, 29 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH), 50 in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU), 14 in Fauji Foundation Hospital (FFH), six in Hearts International Hospital and one in Begum Akhter Rukhsana Hospital.There are six patients on ventilators, 74 on oxygen and 35 are stable.
Six patients surfaced during the last 24 hours in Attock raising the tally of cases to 2,101 in the district. District Health Authority Chief Executive Dr Jawad Elahi said all the cases were reported from the Attock city.
He said the number of active patients in the district also surged to 126 out of which 120 were home isolated. Five suspected patients are also admitted at District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital.
He said results of 161 suspected patients were still awaited while 31,375 people had tested negative so far across the district.
Dr Elahi said 1,935 patients have recovered from the disease across the district.
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2021