Speaking to the media on Sunday, she stated that the coronavirus infection rate could only be overcome by strict implementation of coronavirus SOPs devised by the health department.
The provincial health minister said that in the provincial capital, where the infection rate was previously 23 per cent, Punjab government implemented SOPs strictly. “Now the coronavirus positivity rate has reduced to 18%.”
She further said that Covid-19 patients were facing difficulties in Gujranwala district where the occupancy rate of ventilators was 100% so the health department had decided to send five more ventilators over there.
The minister announced that all kinds of gatherings including indoor and outdoor as well as processions across the province had been banned to tackle the acceleration of the disease. She said that Punjab remained the worst-hit province in terms of deaths and cases followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She said that 8,550 people had lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,658 in Sindh, 3,350 in KP, 691 in Islamabad, 477 in Azad Kashmir, 237 in Balochistan and 107 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
To a question, she informed that the most affected area in Punjab remained Layyah where positivity rate of coronavirus surged to 31 per cent. About oxygen supply, she said the Punjab health department had set up a 280-bed field hospital in the Lahore Expo Centre with uninterrupted oxygen supply, adding that 10 ventilators had also been installed there. She said, “135 vaccination centres have been set up in Punjab and the government had decided to increase the number by adding seven more centres.”
Three more vaccination centres will be opened in Lahore and one each in Multan, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2021.