Despite extensive measures by the government to sow down the spread of coronavirus during yhe third wave of the pandemic, the disease has claimed at least 588 lives and afflicted 16,920 people in Punjab during the ongoing month.
The death toll and number of new confirmed patients during the past nine days indicate that the deadly virus is still spreading rapidly.
Although the government is striving hard to counter the coronavirus in the province, May is also proving to be a tough month for health department. During the first week of the month, at least 447 people had reportedly died due to the virus, while 13,465 new patients were confirmed after diagnostic tests. The death toll since the beginning of the month has now increased to 588 and the number of new coronavirus cases reported in hospitals of the province to 16,920.
With the third wave of the pandemic at its peak in the country, Punjab has been the worst hit along with the other provinces.
Last month proved to be the worst with respect to the death toll and spread of coronavirus since its outbreak. The loss of as many as 1,925 lives and record 45,134 patients suffering from coronavirus were confirmed in Punjab in April.
Like the previous month, the situation remained grave during the early days of May as the death toll and the number of patients remained high.
The month began on an alarming note with 90 deaths confirmed in Punjab and 2,068 patients brought to hospital for the treatment of coronavirus on May 1.
Up till now, April 4 has been the deadliest day during the pandemic as 111 deaths were confirmed in the province on then day.
In view of the prevailing situation, Punjab government has already imposed a lockdown in the province from May 8 till 16. Restrictions were earlier imposed on indoor and outdoor gatherings, travelling as well as shopping. However, despite the measures, Covid-19 still appears to be out of control in the province.
The Punjab health department has indicated that the next 20 days are most important in connection with the pandemic. The government is also seeking the help of the citizens in ensuring the implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set to protect the people from coronavirus.
When asked about the situation, provincial health department spokesperson Sayed Hamad Raza said, “The government and the department are doing their best and at the moment we possess ample facilities of a high standard to deal with coronavirus. There are enough resources and space in hospitals along with the best facilities.”
The spokesman said the health department had also enhanced the vaccination process.
“The only thing that we require from the people is their cooperation as they should stay home in this situation. It is important for their safety as well as our success in coping with the pandmic. We have framed the best strategy to curb the spread of the virus during the Eid shopping and holidays season,” he added.
“In the last 24 hours, at least 1,638 new coronavirus patients were admitted to hospitals in Punjab, while 81 people died due to it,” the spokesman said.
The pandemic has so far claimed 9,032 lives in the province, including 3,693 in Lahore. The total number of people who contracted the virus is 317,972 and 269,355 of them have recovered.
“The disease is still at its peak during May and we advise the peoples to follow the SOPs especially during the Eid days as it is necessary for their safety,” said the spokesman for the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2021.