NCOC identifies 20 cities with potential Covid-19 hotspots

WHO says positivity ratio of daily tests increases to 22%


​ Our Correspondent June 15, 2020
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Monday identified 20 cities across Pakistan as potential Covid-19 hotspots using a strategy termed as 'testing, tracing and quarantining (TTQ)', according to a press release issued by the centre.

The TTQ strategy involves ramping up Covid-19 testing followed by rapidly tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of positive and suspected cases. The strategy was formulated to keep the virus spread in check as different sectors of the economy were reopened.

The 20 cities are: Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Swat, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Sialkot, Gujarat, Ghotki, Larkana, Khairpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Malakand and Mardan. The NCOC recommended "necessary restrictive measures" in these cities.

The TTQ is aimed at identifying disease spread, focused clusters or hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns and need-driven resource optimisation at all levels. The strategy involves ramping up of testing, tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of suspected cases.

In Monday’s meeting, the NCOC was briefed in detail about operationalisation of additional oxygenated beds and ventilators including procurement of the critical healthcare equipment by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

WHO report

A total of 2,150 additional oxygenated beds will be functional by end July to meet additional requirement. About 1,000 oxygenated beds will be functional by end June and another 1,150 oxygenated beds by end July.

Lately, the authorities have ramped up the testing capacity to over 29,000 tests per day. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that Pakistan’s positivity rate of the deadly coronavirus has increased to 22% of the tests conducted every day.

In a previous report on June 4, the WHO gave a province-wise breakdown of the ratio by province. It said Balochistan ranked the highest at 19%, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17%, Sindh, 16%, Punjab, 12%, Gilgit Baltistan, 9%, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 4%, and Islamabad, 8%.

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