Virus tally hits 33,000 over flouting SOPs

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-Government launches “We Care” campaign for medics
-PM activates Corona Relief Tiger Force country-wide
Asad Umar appeals to act responsibly to avoid reverting to lockdown

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 32,916 with 11,868 cases in Punjab, 12,610 in Sindh, 5,021 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2,158 in Balochistan, 457 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 716 in Islamabad and 87 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The virus has claimed at least 733 lives while at least 8,555 coronavirus patients have recovered.
Earlier, with 1,104 new cases of coronavirus reported in Pakistan during last 24 hours, the nationwide tally of the cases has soared to 32,081, media reported on Tuesday.
According to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 11,869 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 12,017 in Sindh, 4,875 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,061 in Balochistan, 457 in Gilgit Baltistan, 716 in Islamabad and 86 in Azad Kashmir.
8,555 patients have so far recovered from the virus till date while 22,820 are still under treatment.
The death toll has jumped to 706 with 39 new deaths reported during the last twenty-four hours.
The death toll from coronavirus across the world has risen to over 287,250 while 4,253,799 cases have been reported globally.
Meanwhile, 1,527,002 people have so far recovered from the infection. The United States has the highest number of total deaths with 81,795. Britain now has the second highest toll with 32,065 followed by Italy with 30,739, Spain 26,744 and France 26,643 deaths.
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has welcomed the slowing down of coronavirus. In a video press conference from Geneva, he said that lifting of lockdowns is a key to stimulate economies but he also urged the vigilance to keep the hard-won gains that have come at a severe socio-economic cost. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed to activate Corona Relief Tiger Force across the country, media reported.
Presiding over a high-level meeting to review weekly report of the Tiger Force, PM Imran asked the chief ministers and chief secretaries to operationalize the force at district, Tehsil and union council level. Terming volunteers of Tiger Force ‘heroes of the nation’, the prime minister directed to ensure complete cooperation with them. He directed the authorities to ensure excellent cooperation at administrative level to provide maximum relief to masses.
On the occasion, PM Imran paid rich tribute to the volunteers of the Tiger Force and said that they were the asset of the country.
Earlier on May 11, Special Assistant to PM on Youth Usman Dar had met Prime Minister Imran Khan and presented him first report on activities of Corona Tiger Relief Force soon after its mobilization. The focal person on Corona Relief Tiger Force had briefed the prime minister on the cooperation extended by the provincial governments with the force.
He had said that registration of youth at union council level helped them in recruiting jobless people. Usman Dar had expressed his satisfaction on reports received from the provinces but also presented a report of lack of cooperation from the Sindh authorities on the matter.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Tuesday warned that the government would have no option but to impose complete lockdown again if the people failed to act in a responsible and cautious manner in the wake of COVID-19.
Addressing launching ceremony of corona relief Tiger Force activities in the Federal Capital, he said people were apparently taking the decision of easing lockdown, easily by freely moving around in the markets and other places sans any purpose.
“After witnessing public rush in the markets, it seems that the virus has vanished away and situation has become normal,” he said, adding the threat of virus still persisted and it could even aggravate if the people did not follow precautionary measures.
He said the prime minister had decided to ease the restrictions only for the sake of poor people who were unable to earn their livelihood during the lockdown.
He paid special tributes to the Tiger Force who expressed their determination in supplementing the relief activities of government.
The prime minister, he said was leading the crusade against corona in the country and wanted the people to play active role in curbing the virus. Umar said so far, situation in hospitals was under control and hoped that it would remain so in future as well. He also urged the people to prepare for Eid with utmost responsibility to stem the spread of corona virus in the country. The provincial authorities on Tuesday sealed 54 shops in Karachi for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, media reported.
Assistant Commissioner Quetta Nida Kazmi said that all 54 shops of Quetta were sealed and the owners will now face lawful consequences in this regard.
A total of 27 shop owners have been taken under arrest after the violation, said the assistant commissioner.
Earlier on April 20, The provincial authorities sealed three factory units in Karachi for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Sindh government to contain the spread of COVID-19. Spokesman to the provincial government Murtaza Wahab all three factories have been sealed in the Korangi area of Karachi for not following the SOPs set down by the government amid the coronavirus lockdown. He said that the operations of the factories were suspended for not maintaining social distancing between workers in transport vehicles.