By Mumtaz Alvi *** Muhammad Anis *** Amer Malik
ISLAMABAD: Wearing a mask, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday urged people to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding COVID-19, as the third wave of the virus would be more dangerous, while hospitals were already overflowing with infected patients.
In a televised message to the nation, Imran Khan, who is self-isolating at his home in Banigala after contracting the Coronavirus, pointed out that it is a global experience that when a mask is worn, the chances of anyone catching the virus are slim. He said Pakistan was unable to close its businesses and factories or impose a complete lockdown.
The prime minister stressed that strict adherence to SOPs is essential because the country cannot be closed or, because “we don’t have enough resources to lock up people and then feed them and look after them”.
Imran Khan continued that even the richest countries do not have many resources but what Pakistanis can do is wear a mask and ask other people to do it too and follow related SOPs. “I’m afraid the third wave will have a greater intensity than the first two waves and nobody knows where it landed us,” he stressed. He added that this came from England.
He noted that hospitals were already filled with people infected with the virus. He added that mainly because of people coming from there and landing in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, this is spreading rapidly and cases are increasing and hospitals are full of patients and people being switched to oxygen and ventilators.
The prime minister recalled that when the first peak of the virus came to Pakistan, the world set an example for Pakistan. “The way we handled it and the best was to get out of it,” he said, adding, “I know, one year has passed and people don’t care about it but God forbid, if it continues to spread at that speed already, then our hospital will fill up. . And, the world is now short on vaccines, as countries, which have pledged to provide vaccines, are facing increasing cases and shortages for their own people. “
Therefore, he stressed that it would be better to be careful and careful and stop going to weddings and restaurants and other such places, where people would gather in such places, it spreads. quickly and it’s called the super spreader.
The prime minister said that he had experienced a disease but Allah SWT was very kind to him and his partner. “But let me say this is a disease where if the virus reaches your chest it becomes very dangerous. Therefore, everyone must be very careful, “he said.
At the start of the message, the prime minister noted that he is very careful throughout the year and does not go to weddings or restaurants and observe social distancing and wear a mask, and is among those Pakistanis, to stay safe from the virus. .
But he added that on the occasion of the Senate election, he was not as careful as he should be and as a result, he caught the virus. “Today, I invite everyone to wear masks and follow the SOP,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) at a special session chaired by Asad Umar decided to impose a complete ban on indoor and outdoor wedding ceremonies and other gatherings from April 5 onwards.
However, the meeting which was also attended by representatives of the federation units via the video link decided that the province would be free to impose restrictions at the beginning of time according to the situation on the ground.
The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICT) has decided to ban all types of indoor and outdoor activities including weddings, gatherings, festivals, cultural, social and religious events which take effect from April 1. Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat issued a notice in this regard. thing on Sundays.
Through another notification, the Islamabad government also banned all kinds of gatherings at the H-8 and H-11 graves during the day and night of Shab-e-Baraat. However, burials in these two graves will be permitted as a COVID-19 SOP.
NCOC will provide updated hotspot maps to provinces for enforcement of the extended lockdown starting March 29.
All types of gatherings (indoor / outdoor) will be prohibited. This will include all social, cultural, political, sporting and other events.
Various options for reducing transport between provinces were considered. The final decision will be taken based on input from the province and analysis of data on the number of commuters between provinces by air, rail and road. Provinces will ensure that vaccination targets given by NCOC are met in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, the NCOC reported 57 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, while 4,767 others tested positive during this period with 45,656 tests conducted on March 28, showing a positivity rate of over 10 percent.
The death toll in the three waves of the coronavirus has reached 14,215 with 3,043 affected people on ventilators while positive cases continue to rise.
In an alarming development, the positive ratio for COVID-19 in Lahore has reached 23 percent.
Official sources in Punjab’s Health Ministry chapters informed that health authorities are considering imposing a total lockdown in Lahore as the rapid spread of the coronavirus exceeds the country’s overall positive ratio of 10.44 percent.
“The presence of SARS-CoV-2 has reached a positive rate of 23 percent in Lahore,” said Nabeel Awan, Secretary of the Department of Health and Special Medical Education (SHC & MED), Punjab. The confirmed coronavirus cases in Lahore have reached 112,379 with 2,549 deaths from COVID-19 so far.
Meanwhile, the positive ratio of health workers in Punjab also reached 12 percent with a total of 2,778 doctors, nurses, paramedics and support staff confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus in hospitals in the province.
Over the last 24 hours most of the deaths occurred in Punjab followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Of the total 57 deaths that occurred during the past 24 hours, 20 victims died using a ventilator during treatment. Maximum ventilators are occupied in four main areas including Multan (70 percent), Islamabad Capital Territory (62 percent), Gujranwala (60 percent) and Lahore (55 percent).
Maximum oxygen beds are also occupied in the four main regions of Gujrat (98 percent), Gujranwala (85 percent), Peshawar (78 percent) and ICT (56 percent).
About 388 ventilators are occupied elsewhere in the country, while no one with COVID-19 is on ventilators at AJK, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan. About 45,656 tests were conducted across the country on Saturday, including 9,424 in Sindh, 19,377 in Punjab, 8,160 in KP, 6,460 in ICT, 1,054 in Balochistan, 350 at GB, and 831 at AJK.
Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 654,591 cases were detected, including COVID-19 patients who died, recovered and under treatment so far, including AJK 12,367, Balochistan 19,497, GB 4,999, ICT 55,594, KP 84,609, Punjab 212,918 and Sindh 264,607. About 14,215 deaths have been recorded in the country since the outbreak of the contagion. Around 4,491 people died in Sindh where four deaths occurred in hospital over the last 24 hours, 6,229 died in Punjab with 39 deaths in the last 24 hours, 2,283 died in KP of which nine died in hospital on Saturday, 559 in TIK among the two deaths in hospital Over the past 24 hours, 206 in Balochistan included one death in hospital over the past 24 hours, 103 in GB and 344 in AJK including two of them in hospital on Saturday.