‘Next few weeks critical regarding COVID spread’

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-Asad says Oxygen supply situation under control
-Ventilators occupancy with critical patients record 57% more than last June
-Over 5,000 patients on oxygen
-131 more deaths, 5,112 new cases reported in single day

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Friday that Pakistan has so far managed to cope with the increase in critical care Covid-19 patients by proactively building the capacity of the entire system.
In a series of tweets, the federal minister said that the total number of critical care patients who were being provided oxygen had reached 5,360 on Thursday.
“This is a 57 per cent more than the peak in June 2020,” he said, adding that so far this increase had been handled due to “proactively building capacity of the entire system from oxygen production to beds”.
“Total oxygen production operational capacity in Pakistan last year was 487 tonnes per day. It has been increased to 798 tonnes,” said Umar, adding that actual production had increased from 465 tonnes last June to 725 tonnes currently.
“We also imported 19,200 oxygen cylinders last year to ensure distribution.”
He stated that because of the steps taken by the federal and provincial governments the tight oxygen supply situation seen last June was not being witnessed again, despite an increase of more than 2,000 critical patients requiring oxygen compared to the previous peak in June.
“Continuing to build oxygen capacity, in yesterday’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) session it was decided to import 6,000 tonnes of oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks.”
The federal minister stated that this “proactive decision-making” had helped Pakistan avoid the kind of situation being witnessed in other countries.
“The bedrock of this proactive decision-making has been a data-based forward-looking analytical approach, a nationally coordinated effort with a whole of the nation approach and the hard work of dedicated teams who have continued to steer the effort through this difficult challenge.”