Covid-19 loses steam in Pakistan as cases decline 10 times since August

Published November 7, 2021
In this file photo, women shop at a market after the government eased the lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus in Rawalpindi. — AFP/File
In this file photo, women shop at a market after the government eased the lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the coronavirus in Rawalpindi. — AFP/File

• Positivity ratio stands at 1.2pc
• 22,852 active cases recorded
• Polio frontline worker sacked for sexually harassing female colleague

ISLAMABAD: While 11 patients succumbed to Covid-19 and 567 people got infected during the last 24 hours, the number of coronavirus cases has decreased 10 times since August this year.

In another development, the department, which handles campaigns against poliovirus, dismissed a worker on charges of sexual harassment.

Covid-19 has largely been controlled through the collective efforts of decision-makers from the platform of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), according to analysts.

According to data, the national positivity rate — which was around 9 per cent three months ago — was down to 1.2pc on Saturday. A total of 22,852 active cases were recorded in the country, out of which 1,282 were in hospitals.

The NCOC data further revealed that in August, the number of hospitalised patients had hovered around 6,000.

As of Nov 6, there were 567 new coronavirus patients, far lower than 5,661 reported on Aug 4. As many as 146 patients were on ventilators.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who also heads the NCOC, attributed the success against coronavirus to teamwork.

In his tweet, the minister said: “There are a number of learnings from the NCOC experience, having huge implications for the way governance is carried out. However, the most important of these is not new. Just reinforced by the Covid experience ... If Pakistan plays as one team, we win.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said global recognition and praise for Pakistan’s response to the virus was continuing.

“We must continue our efforts with the same vigour — but happy to see that our leadership’s strategies and the public’s resolve — are being recognised as best practices,” he tweeted.

Polio worker dismissed

The polio programme, which manages campaigns against the crippling disease, sacked a frontline worker after he was found guilty of sexually harassing a female colleague.

National Coordinator of Polio Eradication Programme Dr Shahzad Baig, in a statement, said they had learnt about the involvement of a worker in a case of sexual harassment against a female team member in Karachi.

“The programme is deeply concerned over the incident and strongly condemns the actions of the frontline worker,” Dr Baig said, adding that immediate steps were being taken to provide support to the affected staff member.

“The accused has been arrested, charged by the police and subsequently dismissed on the directive of the polio programme national coordinator,” the statement said, adding that any form of exploitation, abuse and harassment in the programme or of the communities it served was a serious violation.

The national coordinator said, “We reaffirm we have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual or any other forms of harassment or intimidation at any level in the polio programme”.

Published in Dawn, November 7th, 2021

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