Capacity appraised to tackle virus tide

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-Total virus count hovering around 37,000
-Recoveries near 10,000 mark
-Punjab, Sindh, KP report new cases
-More shops, market sealed over SOPs violation

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABA: The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) in the wake of possible outspread of coronavirus and prevailing circumstances on Thursday took an in-depth analysis of existing beds, ventilators and other facilities in the hospitals.
The purpose of the thorough examination of the existing facilities was to collect real-time data and gauge capacity of the hospitals.
The 20th consecutive meeting of the NCOC during Ramazan, also reviewed the latest situation of COVID-19, progress on implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines at the provincial level.
Addressing the meeting in chair, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said the provinces and hospital management had the responsibility to ensure verified data of coronavirus affected patients to take effective measures for mitigating the risk of the pandemic outbreak.
He said the management of the provinces and hospitals had an important role to play for providing credible information where the provinces and the administration were doing an excellent job in this context and it should continue.
He said implementation of SOPs for non-spread of coronavirus during the past day at the provincial and district level was encouraging. He said the implementation of SOPs and guidelines for containing the risk of COVID-19 could only ensure public health and safety.
According to the NCOC, during the meeting, the interior minister said he had issued clear instructions the other day to implement the SOPs and guidelines for religious congregations, mosques and markets.
The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 36,720 with 13,561 cases in Punjab, 14,099 in Sindh, 5,423 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2,239 in Balochistan, 482 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 822 in Islamabad and 94 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 779 lives while at least 9,695 coronavirus patients have recovered. The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has soar to 35,778 as 1,452 new cases of the infection were reported in last twenty four hours, said National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday.
According to the national dashboard, confirmed positive cases reported in Sindh have risen to 13, 341, in Punjab 13,561, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 5,252, in Balochistan 2,239 in Islamabad 822, in Gilgit Baltistan 482, and in Azad Kashmir 91. So far 9,695 people have recovered their health from the virus, while 25,323 patients are still battling the pandemic in the country. With 33 more deaths nationwide in last 24 hours, the total tally of the fatalities due to pandemic was recorded at 770.
According to the NCOC, record 13,051 tests were carried out in the country in last twenty four hours to detect the virus. The total number of tests conducted so far in the country is 3,30,750.
The federal government on Wednesday had sent standard operating procedures (SOPs) to the provinces to be implemented during Ramazan and Eidul Fitr amid COVID-19 partial lockdown. The copies of the SOPs were sent to chief secretaries of the provinces and Islamabad commissioner by the interior ministry.
The precautionary measures had been finalised for the remaining days of Ramazan and forthcoming festival of Eidul Fitr during the Tuesday’s session of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). The provincial governments have been directed to ensure strict implementation of the SOPs to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Punjab government on Thursday has released standard operating procedures (SOPs) for beauty salons and barber shops to avoid spread of coronavirus.According to details, one customer will be dealt at one time while the owners should make sure that disposable blades, disinfected towel and brushes are being used at the parlors.The customers are only allowed to sit for 15 minutes in waiting area whereas arrangements for cleanliness should be adopted.The owners of salons and barber shops should ensure that the workers are taking precautionary measures. Multiple shops and markets were sealed in Lahore on Thursday for not following the government SOPs. The government had issued these SOPs to shopkeepers to follow to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. They include practices such as making hand sanitiser available within stores and ensuring social distancing is maintained.
Forty-five shops in Shah Alam Market were sealed and seven in Chongi Amar Sidhu. The Lahore deputy commissioner said a crackdown will be conducted in Shalimar, Cantt and Raiwind’s markets today (Thursday). The district administration has formed 10 teams to test shopkeepers for the virus.