May 11, 2021

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Lahore is new COVID-19 hotspot in Pakistan, positivity rate stands at 22 per cent

A senior citizen receives a doze of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at a vaccination centre in Lahore on April 4, 2021.
Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Punjab recorded 2,711 COVID-19 cases on Friday even as Lahore alone reported more than half of the province’s tally – 1,575. So far, 6,675 people have died of COVID-19 with 88 in the last 24 hours alone.

The provincial capital also showed an alarming rate of positivity – 22 per cent as opposed to 10 per cent in the province and 9.6 per cent across the country.

According to Secretary, Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department, Nabeel Awan, the number of patients in hospitals of Punjab have doubled during the last four weeks, with over 8,000 patients admitted to hospitals in the last few days.

“We are trying to enhance patients’ capacity fearing an alarming number of new cases in the coming days,” he told the media.

80 per cent beds occupied in government-run hospitals

The province’s primary health department and public health experts reveal that 80 per cent of ventilators in the government-run hospitals have been occupied.

Virus situation far from ‘plateau’ stage

The situation is worse in the provincial capital, said Ali Raza, a member of the province’s public health team fearing there will be no ‘plateau’ in the next 10 days and the cases will continue to rise.

In the public health sector, we use this term ‘plateau’ when positivity rate stops at one point, he said.

“If we continue to see public flouting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for COVID-19 , the number of cases will continue to go up,” said he.

According to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC), Punjab with 2,711 cases and 58 deaths is ahead of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1,248 cases and 34 deaths), Islamabad (674 cases, 6 deaths) and Sindh (358 cases, 1 death).

105 deaths, 5,312 new cases

On Friday, Pakistan reported 105 more fatalities in the last 24 hours, taking the national death tally to 15,229 as the third wave of coronavirus has become deadlier and more lethal than the previous two.

According to the NCOC’s official data, about 5,312 new cases emerged in the country with the total number of cases surging to 710,829.

Besides, the positivity rate was 9.6 per cent in the country while the active cases were 69,811. In addition, country-wide recoveries have risen to 625,789.

Local preparation of vaccine possible in 6-10 weeks

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said the Punjab government would purchase 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine after approval by the cabinet.

She said this while chairing a meeting at the Civil Secretariat to review the status of vaccine procurement and preparation. The Punjab health minister said that local preparation of the vaccine will be possible in six and 10 months.