Govt upbeat over virus cases decline


-Overall tally close to 236,500 as recoveries reach 136,000

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz on Tuesday said that Pakistan has witnessed a decline in the COVID-19 cases.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan devised a strategy to cope up with the COVID-19 situation keeping in view the country’s ground realities,” he said while addressing a presser to brief on cabinet meeting chaired by the premier.
The federal information minister said that the strategy had proved successful and Pakistan remained less affected by the virus than any other country globally.
He also lauded the role of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) and said that the country developed infrastructure to deal with COVID-19 on emergency basis and they have improved the number of testing labs to 129 from only two when the pandemic hit the country.
Shibli Faraz said that the virus cases had witnessed a surge after Eid ul Fitr and if precautionary measures were not adopted then it could see another rising trend after Eid-ul-Adha.
Even the prime minister has decided to celebrate upcoming Eid at home, he said and urged the masses to adopt it and avoid unnecessary outing during Eid-ul-Adha.
While lauding the adviser to PM on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, he said that the government presented a tax-free budget despite financial losses. He said that the prime minister has directed Sania Nishtar to launch the second phase of the Ehsaas programme.
Speaking over pilots’ issue, he said that 28 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) pilots have been terminated from the service over dubious licenses and blamed that these recruitments were made during the PPP and PML-N era.
“We have already grounded all pilots who have dubious licenses,” he said vowed to take stern action against all PIA and CAA officials found guilty in the license matter.
He said that the cabinet was also briefed over the sugar inquiry report and the commerce minister informed that they have devised sugar reforms that would help in ensuring the supply of the commodity at lower prices.
A negative role of the competitive commission has emerged during the sugar and other crisis and we have decided to bring forward new people to make it more effective, he said. The cabinet also discussed over change in the money laundering law to make it more effective.
National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday said over 7494 violations of health guidelines were noted during last 24 hours across Pakistan.
According to NCOC, in consequence of the violations more than 604 markets and shops and 981 transporters were fined and sealed as per the violation. However, the provincial governments including AJK, GB and ICT were making all out efforts to enforce health guidelines and instructions’ compliance for public safety and well-being to contain Corona virus spread. The details of violations of health guidelines across Pakistan and enforcement measures were as in AJK 1102 violations were recorded and in response 28 markets and shops were closed and sealed, 182 transport vehicles were fined as per violations.
In GB, 135 violations of health guidelines were observed, 44 markets and shops were closed and sealed and seven transport vehicles were fined as per violations. In KP, 3,323 violations were observed where in consequence 147 markets and shops were closed and sealed and seven transport vehicles were fined as per the violation.
In Punjab, a total of 1925 violations were recorded whereas in consequence 324 markets and shops were closed and sealed, and 531 transport vehicles were fined as per the violation. In Balochistan, 434 violations were observed where 44 markets and shops were closed and sealed 167 transport vehicles were also fined as per the violation. In Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 30 violations of SOPs and health guidelines were noted whereas in consequence 3 markets were closed and sealed and 2 transport vehicles were fined as per the violation. In Sindh, 545 violations were recorded whereas in consequence 32 markets shops were sealed and closed and 105 transport vehicles were fined as per the violation.
Similarly, as many as 352 smart lockdown are imposed in 55 districts with 2.6 million population. Moreover, 23 areas in Punjab with population of 621,236 persons, 33 areas in Sindh with 893,821 persons, 244 areas in KPK with 836390 persons, 30 areas in AJK with 87,478 persons, 5 areas in Islamabad with 65,000 persons and 17 areas in GB with 151,317 persons were kept under smart lockdown. 706 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Punjab in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of infections in the province to 82,669.
According to the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, 15 more people died due to complications related to the virus, taking the death toll in the province to 1,899. More than 47,000 patients have been cured of the disease in the province. A total of 540,365 tests have been conducted in the province thus far. It is pertinent to mention here that the country reported 2,691 coronavirus cases and 77 deaths over the past 24 hours, pushing the national tally of infections to 234,508 and casualties to 4,839.
Pakistan has confirmed 77 deaths in a single day by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 234,509. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 4,839, Dunya News reported on Tuesday.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 2,691 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad. Till now 96,236 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 82,669 in Punjab, 28,236 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10,841 in Balochistan, 13,557 in Islamabad, 1,587 in Gilgit-Baltistan.