Covid resurges in wake of Eid
Punjab records highest death tolls of month on Sunday
Cases of novel coronavirus are on the rise in Punjab once again with 6,520 people diagnosed with the disease during the current month.
The rate of fatalities caused by the pandemic has also increased as 179 patients died in the province during the past 25 days, including 30 in the last two days. The death toll during the past two days was the highest in three weeks. At least 529 fresh cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the province on Sunday, preceded by 446 the previous day. The figure for Sunday was the highest during the month.
Health department officials surmised that violation of preventive standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the Eid days and shopping was the reason for the increase in the cases.
However, the department appears to be focusing on vaccination, especially a door-to-door inoculation campaign beginning on Monday.
The figures of 6,520 confirmed fresh cases and 179 deaths caused by Covid-19 during the past 25 days have sent alarm bells ringing in the province. The high death toll in the past two days illustrates an aggravation of the situation.
Meanwhile, the most alarming factor amid the prevailing situation for the government is the threat of the Delta variant of the disease from India. Its cases were reported earlier in Rawalpindi and Lahore but no new patients of the variant have been confirmed in the province after the initial instances.
“We were relaxed in the beginning of this month as few cases of coronavirus were being recorded, but we became concerned when patients of the Delta variant were reported in Rawalpindi and later Lahore. Our main concern is still about the variant, while besides this non-implementation of the SOPs is a risk factor,” a senior official of Punjab health department told The Express Tribune.
The official said the adverse results of violation of the SOPs started emerging from July 10 when coronavirus cases begun increasing and the trend had continued since then.
“The government failed to implement SOPs when there was crowding in shopping areas and cattle markets ahead of Eidul Azha. There was also violation of the SOPs during the three Eid days. Now we have seeing the results as the rate of infection and deaths has almost doubled during the past two days.”
The official warned that worse days might be witnessed if the situation if the authorities failed to control the situation amid the ongoing fourth wave of the pandemic in the province.
“It is alarming that on the first day of July we confirmed 121 new patients and three deaths in Punjab but today there were 15 deaths and 529 new cases. It seems that we are moving towards a worse situation,” the official warned.
When the month began, there were reports of shortage of vaccines but Punjab received around 300,000 doses of Moderna vaccine on July 2 and also got AstraZeneca vaccine from federal government later. Now the vaccines are available but cases of the disease are still increasing.
There currently are 10,757 active cases of coronavirus in the province, including 529 confirmed during the past 24 hours.
When contacted, Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Secretary Sara Aslam said, ”The department today recorded coronavirus positive test ratio of three per cent in Punjab, while in Lahore the ratio was 4.7%. There is enough vaccine at all our vaccination centres and I request all people above 18 years of age to get themselves vaccinated. Vaccination is the only solution in the prevailing situation.”
She also advised the people to practise social distancing, follow the SOPs and avoid gatherings and going outside.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2021.