PTI govt fears COVID-19 tally may top 50,000 by end of April

Published: April 5, 2020
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Tells SC that projection is based on international trend 
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Tells SC that projection is based on international trend PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The federal health ministry has told the apex court that coronavirus infections in Pakistan may rise to 50,000 by April 25 – a projection based on the pandemic’s trends in other countries.

The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination has submitted a report to the Supreme Court five-judge larger bench, which is hearing a petition filed against March 20 order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to release under trial prisoners (UTPs).

According to the report, the tally of coronavirus infections may top 50,000 by April 25. Some 2,392 of these infections might be in critical condition; 7,024 in severe condition and 41,482 facing mild infection.

It said the mild cases require care at home and at isolation centres. In severe cases, hospitalization is required and intensive care is mandatory for treating critical cases.

However, the report noted that projections may change as they are based on trends in other countries. “They should only be taken as an indicator and not for any disclosure as they may create public unrest.”

The report said after 35 days, number of the confirmed cases in Pakistan is very low as compared to European and Iran. It emphasized that there is need to ensure implementation of burial protocols and training for burial workers and religious leaders.

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The report also highlighted the measures taken to control spread of coronavirus and making the testing system more efficient. The government is monitoring the situation 24/7, it said.

The Federal Ministry of Interior in its report said 13,494 persons have arrived in Pakistan since January 1 after screening by concerned authorities. The Pakistan Coast Guards has sealed all the jetties to control movements from the sea.

All arrivals at the airports, sea ports and land ports are being managed in coordination with relevant stakeholders. Eastern and western borders of the country have been sealed till the situation stabilizes.

The Punjab government in its report stated that a Corona Crisis Management Cell has been established to monitor the situation. It said Section 144 has been imposed in the province. More than 1,500 pilgrims who came from Iran, have been quarantined in three cities – Faisalabad, Multan and DG Khan.

The report said policy guideline for shifting of prisoners from high density confinement to lower density confinement is being implemented. The sole suspected infection has been quarantined/ isolated and later shifted to Mayo Hospital Lahore. ‘

The Lahore Camp Jail where this case was detected has been isolated and sealed and prisoners are being shifted to other jails. It said so far, 609 under trial prisoners have been shifted to Hafizabad District Jail and 200 under trial prisoners have been shifted to Lodhran Jail.

Thousands of persons who returned from abroad have been traced out for screening. The Punjab government has allocated a package of Rs44 billion to deal with the situation that emerged after coronavirus, the report added.

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