Record 45 deaths in a single day

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Pakistan Friday reported 45 deaths from coronavirus in 24 hours taking the death toll to 406, with confirmed cases rising to 17,699.

Presenting a province-wise breakup, PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said the country reported the highest number of confirmed cases in a day as the national count touched 17,699 on Friday with the addition of 990 cases.

He said Sindh reported 358 cases in the last 24 hours, followed by Punjab 289, KP 246, Balochistan 71, Islamabad 30, and Gilgit-Baltistan 6. No case was reported in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Of the total 17,699 confirmed cases, Sindh reported 6,675 cases, Punjab 6,340, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2,799, Balochistan 1,136, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 343, Gilgit-Baltistan 340 and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) 66.

Out of 408 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 161 deaths so far, Sindh 118, Balochistan 16, Gilgit-Baltistan 3, Punjab 106, and Islamabad Capital Territory 4. “A total of 182,000 tests have thus far been performed, leading to confirmation of 17,699 cases, of which 26% have fully recovered,” Dr. Zafar shared in a televised briefing.

“Improvements in data collection system have led to detection of several deaths that took place over the last few days but were not previously fed into the database, hence a sudden increase in the number of deaths,” the SAMP clarified.

He also shared that 42,000 people who are currently in quarantines have been tested, with 14% positivity. The SAPM said capacity-building trainings for doctors, nurses and paramedics from all four provinces, as well as from GB and AJK, are now underway in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Moreover, a useful resource in the shape of a publication titled ‘Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care’ has been published and will be uploaded on the covid.gov.pk website soon.

“This is an excellent resource for medical professionals handling Covid19 patients in ICUs,” Dr. Zafar said. The SAPM propagated that the number of Covid19 cases and deaths in Pakistan were way less in comparison to other countries in the region, as well as in Europe and the US.

“Even countries with way more cases and deaths are now progressively relaxing their lockdown policies to keep the wheel of economic activity moving. “However, the softening of lockdown will not be able to deliver the kind of envisaged benefits if the SOPs issued for various sectors are not strictly followed,” Dr Zafar said.

He said the government will be repeating the guidelines every now and then. “Please follow the SOPs with a sense of responsibility and also motivate others around you to do the same, so that normalcy can be restored, soonest possible,” he added.

Dr. Zafar dubbed “misleading and fallacious,” media reports about the Ministry of Health having expressed reservations about procurements being done by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

“I strongly reject such accusations. The Ministry of Health letter quoted in the media contains no such content. Data sharing with NDMA and other key stakeholders is a regular feature of the country’s coordinated response to Covid19. This is highly irresponsible journalism at a time when the country is facing a health emergency; please do not distort facts,” he urged the media.

The SAPM concluded with a public appeal. “You can contribute your share to control the spread of Covid-19 by keeping away from crowds, staying indoors, maintaining hygiene.” Geo adds: Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Friday said 662 new cases of coronavirus had been diagnosed across the province, while six more people lost their lives in the battle against the pandemic.

In a message from the CM House, Murad said that the death toll has reached 118 in Sindh, rising to 1.76% of the total patients. The chief minister said that 3,384 tests were conducted out of which 622 new cases emerged. He added that 57,761 samples have been tested so far in total, out of which 6,675 tested positive.

“At present 5,262 patients are under treatment, of them 4,044 or 77 percent are at home isolation, 733 at isolation centers and 485 at different hospitals,” he said.

Murad said that 45 patients were in a critical condition, while 16 were fighting for their lives on ventilators. Giving details of the stranded Pakistanis, the chief minister said that 483 landed at the Karachi airport by three flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Colombo. He added that 190 passengers were diagnosed as positive when they were tested.

Shah said that out of the 190 positive cases, 92 belonged to Sindh, 56 to Punjab, 24 KPK and 18 to Balochistan. In Sindh, Shah said that 17 cases have been diagnosed from Ghotki, 19 Hyderabad, 11 Jacobabad, 23 Larkana, 15 Shikarpur and six in Sukkur.

The chief minister said that if the 190 positive cases of stranded Pakistanis were excluded from the total number of cases, then the local cases would amount to 472 for Sindh. “This figure shows that the pandemic is still playing havoc in Sindh,” he said, adding that this situation called for strict observance of social distancing and preventive measures laid down by the WHO.

Sharing Karachi’s data, the chief minister said that 446 cases have been reported from the total diagnosed. According to the breakdown, 173 belonged to district Malir, 92 East, 70 South, 56 Central, 33 West and 22 in Korangi.