Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan on Saturday said that the country’s Covid positivity ratio has doubled from 4.5% to 9.5% in the last few days.
While briefing the media personnel in Islamabad, the SAPM stated, “This is an alarming situation which is increasing burden on our healthcare system.”
Sultan added that the pressure is especially being seen on the health infrastructure in Peshawar, Islamabad and other major cities of Punjab.
The special assistant maintained that it is the collective responsibility of the whole country to fully comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to cope with the challenge and warned against the loss of both lives and livelihoods if measures were taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to be violated by the people.
The health professional further advised people to wear masks and ensure social distancing. He added that public events (e.g. weddings etc.) should also be organised in open air with minimum possible guests.
Speaking about the country’s inoculation programme, the SAPM revealed that the process has been streamlined to help senior citizens get easier and faster access to existing vaccine stocks, with people aged over seventy years to get vaccination shots without any appointment.
In addition, Sultan divulged that two consignments of vaccine purchased by Pakistan will also arrive in the country by the end of this month.
Pakistan on Saturday recorded at least 3,876 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the highest in eight months as the third wave of the pandemic – fueled by the UK variant of the virus – sweeps across the country.
The country also recorded at least 42 fatalities from the virus in the last 24 hours.
The nationwide tally of the number of cases reached 623,135 out of which 29,576 were categorised as active.
According to the data provided by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the highest number of cases till date has been reported in Sindh with 262,796 cases, closely followed by Punjab with 195,087 cases, 78,653 in KPK, 50,843 in Islamabad, 19,306 in Balochistan, 11,483 in AJK and 4,967 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The total number of tests conducted in Sindh during the previous day were 19,445, followed by 15,212 tests in Punjab, 7,753 in KPK, 5,958 in Islamabad, 330 in Gilgit Baltistan, 886 in AJK and 362 in Balochistan.
NCOC has recorded a recovery rate of 97.68% compared to the death rate of 2.32% during the pandemic.
Preventive guidelines against the coronavirus epidemic, outlined by the NCOC include frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds by all individuals, avoiding crowded places, avoiding sharing food, avoiding contact with sick people, touching one’s face and nose minimally, cover nose when sneezing, seeking immediate medical attention if required and wearing a mask when out in public.
All vaccination centers across the country will remain closed on Sundays and all national holidays.
The decision has been taken to give relief to the vaccine administrators and healthcare workers who are working tirelessly to serve the nation in this time of crisis.
“NCOC appreciates the effort of all federating units for management of massive vaccination drive across the country and salutes the FLHCWs specially those involved in ongoing vaccination drive,” a press release stated.