Virus trending upwards with recoveries, local spread

-Nationwide tally of Covid-19 cases reaches 8,268 as nearly 1,900 treated successfully

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 8,268 with 3,686 cases in Punjab, 2,537 in Sindh, 1,137 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 432 in Balochistan, 257 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 171 in Islamabad, and 48 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed 167 lives while at least 1,868 coronavirus patients have recovered. The total number of tests conducted, so far in the country stands at 98,542 with 7,874 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the statistics released by the national dashboard.
Currently, 5,996 patients are being treated at the various hospitals and quarantine facilities across the country, while 36 people in Pakistan have recovered from the coronavirus during the last 24 hours.
Punjab’s tally of coronavirus cases jumped to 3,649, 2,355 in Sindh, 1137 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 376 in Balochistan, 257 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 171 in Islamabad and 48 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Highlighting that the country recorded lower cases of the coronavirus than projected, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday the number of Covid-19 cases could see a spike by the middle of the next month.
Speaking at a media briefing in Islamabad, the premier said there would have been 50,000 cases by April 25 as per initial projections but that is not the case. He added new projections suggest the country will see 12,000 to 15,000 patients.
PM Imran Khan took exception to “fake” news about higher number of Covid-19 fatalities in Karachi where he said panic was being spread that more deaths have occurred because of the virus than being reported.
He was of the view that fighting the pandemic and saving people’s lives is a national duty and should not be hindered by such fake news or politics. Prime minister Imran Khan also said the government’s taking early decisions and imposing an early lockdown are yielding results. At least ten more patients have died from COVID-19 infections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) bringing the total death toll to 60, the provincial information advisor said on Sunday.
Adviser to the Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Khan Wazir confirmed that 62 new infections were reported in the province during the last 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 1137.
Responding to a question, Ajmal Wazir said that the government was taking steps to bring back stranded Pakistanis in Afghanistan.
“KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan is himself monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the province,” he said, adding that all facilities are available at quarantine centers for corona patients. Ajmal Wazir called for unity among all political parties in order to defeat this deadly coronavirus.
Earlier on Saturday, Ajmal Khan Wazir said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was taking all-out measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Talking to journalists, Ajmal Khan Wazir said that coronavirus testing capacity at Khyber Medical University has been enhanced from 40 to 700 per day.
He maintained that they started coronavirus diagnostic tests at Hayatabad Medical Complex and Syedo Teaching Hospital to facilitate the masses. The adviser said that private sector hospitals were also conducting the COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
Responding to a question, Ajmal Wazir said that the government was taking steps to bring back stranded Pakistanis in Afghanistan.
The National Disaster Management Authority has sent another batch of medical equipment for doctors and paramedical staff in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the authority’s spokesperson, 150,000 surgical masks, 4,171 N-95 masks, 30,000 protective suits, 13,700 gloves and 400 shoes have been dispatched to the province.
The batch includes 21,487 surgical caps, 16,322 shoe covers and numerous other medical equipment for paramedics. Face shields, thermal guns and goggles are also a part of the batch. The NDMA will be dispatching these supplies to other provinces within the next 48 hours.
The government has stressed on the protection of doctors in the frontline fighting coronavirus across the country. So far, more than 8,000 people have been affected by the deadly disease.
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said here on Sunday that 29 more COVID-19 patients have recovered from Mayo Hospital and PKLI Center in Lahore. The Minister said a total of 206 patients from different Lahore. Hospitals have returned to their homes so far. Overall in Punjab, about 680 patients have recovered from COVID-19 from different hospitals in the province. She said the return of patients to their homes in good numbers is an encouraging development.
The Minister said, “So far we have conducted over 54,000 tests in Punjab. I request all people to support Government efforts by complying with the lockdown and staying indoors.”
The spokesperson to the Balochistan government, Liaquat Shahwani, has confirmed that the coronavirus count reached 432 after 56 more tested positive, media reported on Sunday.
Liaquat Shahwani said that the provincial health authorities have received overall 270 test reports today where 56 people found infected with the COVID-19, whereas, 214 others tested negative.
He detailed that the patients were affected by local transmission of the virus as they have no travel history. The patients were belonging to Quetta, Mastung, Jafarabad, Chaman and Sibi. The tally of coronavirus cases jumped 14 in Balochcistan’s Mastung including a lady doctor of District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, confirmed medical superintendent Dr Sajida Mengal.
She said that the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Mastung are 14 now, whereas, the hospital administration has also sent samples of seven more staff members after a lady doctor detected with the virus.
Dr Mengal added that two suspected patients of coronavirus were admitted in the isolation ward of the hospitals.