Is it a COVID falling curve?


-Daily Covid cases fall below 4,000
-3,377 new infections, 161 more deaths reported
-Vaccinations cross 150,000 mark on daily basis
-Asad Umar says SOPs’ compliance significantly improved
-NCOC forms monitoring teams to ensure SOPs from May 8-16
-Closure of trade activities, markets, tourism decided

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported 3,377 new coronavirus infections, taking the total caseload to 834,146 countrywide, according to the data provided by National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday.
At least 161 new deaths have taken the country’s death toll to 18,310. Most deaths in the country were reported in Punjab followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The positivity rate of coronavirus cases stands at 8.9%.The number of active cases stands at 86,151, with the nationwide recoveries rising to 733,062.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic both in terms of cases reported and deaths followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan. To date, 306,929 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Punjab, 308,529 in Sindh, 286,521 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 22,664 in Balochistan, 76,492 in Islamabad, 17,397 in Azad Kashmir, and 5,330 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Furthermore, 8,683 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,678 in Sindh, 3,423 in KP, 239 in Balochistan, 693 in Islamabad, 487 in Azad Kashmir, and 107 in GB. According to Monday’s official data released by NCOC 79 deaths and 4,213 cases were reported in a single day.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s daily vaccinations crossed the 150,000 mark for the first time the previous day, Asad Umar said on Tuesday.
The Planning and Development Minister tweeted that as many as 164,000 people were administered Covid-19 vaccine. Monday was the first day when people aged 40 years and above started getting jabs, he added.Mr. Umar said a significant improvement was seen in Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) compliance to control spread of COVID-19 after the stronger enforcement measures including military deployment took place.
“National average compliance has doubled from 34 percent on April 25 to 68 percent on May 3,” he said in his tweet. He also stressed the need to sustain and build on this compliance level specially till Eid-ul-Fitr.
Earlier in the day NCOC decided to form monitoring teams at federal, provincial, and district levels to ensure the implementation of coronavirus SOPs from May 8-16.
The NCOC, in a statement, said the development came during a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and co-chaired by National Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood Uz Zaman Khan. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan was also present at the meeting.
During this period, all businesses and shops will remain closed with few exceptions like food outlets, grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol pumps and bakeries etc., the forum said, adding it was informed that there would be a complete ban on tourism for both locals and outsiders.
“All tourist resorts, formal and informal picnic spots, public parks, shopping malls; all hotels and restaurants in/around tourist/ picnic spots to remain closed,” it said. “Travel nodes leading to tourist spots [will also remain] closed; focus on the areas of Murree, Galiyat, Swat-Kalam, Sea View/beaches and the Northern Areas will remain,” stated the statement.