Govt gears up to curb new wave of virus

Premises involved in Covid-19 cases being sealed

Muhammad Ilyas October 18, 2020

The authorities have launched a crackdown against violation of coronarivus prevention measures as the second wave of the pandemic has started in Punjab.

As a large number of cases of the disease have begun to emerge, the primary healthcare department has issued an alert to the provincial Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus for the Implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs). Officials are inspecting the implementation of the coronavirus SOPs in schools, colleges, shopping plazas, markets and restaurants across Punjab.

The places where new cases of the disease have been found are being sealed. The deputy commissioners are responsible for implementing the SOPs each district.

An outbreak of coronavirus is being reported appear after the change in the weather and the number of cases has increased day by day, as the temperature drops.

In this regard, the health department has once again imposed an emergency in the hospitals so that the patients can be given better medical care.

In addition, the department has stepped up testing for the virus once again. So far, the total number of coronavirus cases in Punjab is 101,425. As many as 1,431,422 people have been tested for the disease so far. The highest number of cases of coronavirus was being seen in Punjab. According to the statistics of the health department, the highest number of cases in a district is 50,917 in Lahore.

The health department has started using all its resources to avert a spread of coronavirus once again as officials believe the second wave could be dangerous.

A lockdown is not being imposed but the district administration immediately identifies the area where patients are reported.

The shopping mall, shops, schools, offices and factories with reported cases of the disease are closed for 15 days.

A number of marriage halls in Lahore and surrounding areas have been shut and stern action is being taken against the violators of SOPs, including sealing of the premises. Action is also being taken against the owners of the premises where the SOPs are violated.

Commenting on the situation, Provincial Primary Healthcare Secretary Mohammad Usman said the government is using all its resources to fight the second wave. So far, coronavirus tests are being conducted and steps have been taken to implement the SOPs. The number of coronavirus survivors in the province has risen to 97,089.

He said the people had been requested to implement SOPs and all shopping malls, schools, wedding halls and factories should follow them.

Sources said the Punjab health authorities had also asked the finance department to provide resources so that all arrangements can be completed to counter the second wave of the pandemic.

Of the 12,138 people tested for the disease in the province during last 24 hours, 124 tested positive. So far, the disease has claimed 2,288 lives in the province.

However, if the SOPs are not implemented, the number of patients may increase in the coming days as the people visiting the hospitals increases in cold weather.

The healthcare department had appealed to the citizens to follow the government-mandated SOPs for their protection.

They advised the people should wash their hands with soap several times in a day to protect themselves from the rebounding virus.

Contact 1033 immediately on symptoms of coronavirus, the healthcare department officials urged the citizens.

Under the SOPs, people should wear masks and use a sanitiser wherever they go and avoid shaking hands. Experts say the government would have to renew an awareness campaign about the precautions to void a high number of people being affected by the new wave of coronavirus.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2020.


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