LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid says the coronavirus situation is improving in the province and the positivity rate has fallen down to two per cent.
Speaking at a press conference on the coronavirus pandemic situation at 90 Shahrah-i-Quaid-e-Azam on Sunday, she said the coronavirus positive cases had considerably decreased in the province including Lahore but the positivity ratio in Khanewal had reached eight per cent and in Vehari 10 per cent. “Only three districts in the province – Multan, Vehari and Khanewal – now have a positivity rate higher than five per cent,” she said.
She said during the last 24 hours, 403 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Punjab and 49 people had lost their lives. The infection tally rose to 342,192 and the death toll to 10,290.
Sharing details about the occupancy rates of beds and ventilators in district and tehsil headquarters hospitals, the minister said 2,901 beds were allocated for coronavirus patients in primary care hospitals of which 331 were currently occupied while only eight patients were on ventilators.
She said the lockdown imposed before Eid was proving to be fruitful in containing the disease in the province, adding that violation of the SOPs would again result in spreading the virus and they were not yet resuming commercial activities on weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
Ms Rashid appealed to the public that the entire world was administering vaccine to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the public should not take to the rumours being spread on social media against the vaccination. “All the rumours about the vaccination are wrong and it has not affected any person,” she said.
She said the government had set a target of vaccinating around 70 million people during the current year while 80,000 people were vaccinated during the last 24 hours in the province. She said they could control the pandemic only after vaccinating half of the population of around 110 million people.
“All the teachers are being vaccinated in the province and they still have 1.8 million doses of vaccine and in upcoming days they would receive three million more doses of vaccine,” she said.
The minister said around 700 vaccine centres would be made functional till Monday morning (today) and Punjab could vaccinate 600,000 people on a daily basis.
The minister further said Punjab was spending Rs1.5 billion more to buy vaccines and they had started the registration of people aged 18.
While answering queries of the journalists, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed them to ensure implementation of coronavirus SOPs strictly to contain the disease. She said they would ensure complete transparency in purchasing the vaccine and would follow PPRA rules and Punjab CM Usman Buzdar would also monitor the purchase.
She said all the medical students would be vaccinated in the country and SOPs implementation would be ensured in all public offices. She said one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine would provide six-week immunity and it was the responsibility of the state to provide a second dose of the vaccine to the people and it would also be free.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2021