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ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Faisal Sultan, Tuesday, while urging the people to strictly follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to deal with the coronavirus spread, saying the current wave of the Covid-19 potentially can become worse than the first Covid wave in the summer of 2020.

Talking to media men here, he said the federal government had procured and would continue to procure Covid vaccine for all Pakistani citizens.

He maintained that provinces needed No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the federal government to procure vaccine, if they were able to.

The government would provide any facilitation if needed, he added.

Advising against complacency, he asked people to observe social distancing and wearing masks.

He also advised against visiting crowded places of any kind. “We should follow the SOPs thoroughly, which could save us from the pandemic,” he said.

He said the Covid cases were rising for the past two weeks, and urged the citizens to strictly follow Covid-19 SOPs to prevent the disease in the wake of a sudden increase in the number of infections in the country.

He said the Covid-19 case positivity ratio had doubled in the past few days reaching 12.31 percent in the federal capital, while 23 percent in Lahore.

Sultan said the overall case positivity ratio in the country was 8.83 percent, while 10.43 percent in Punjab, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 8.55 percent, in Sindh 2.98 percent, in Balochistan 2.15 percent, in Azad Jammu and Kashmir 8.98 percent, and in Gilgit-Baltistan 2.33 percent.

He said the government was regularly monitoring positivity ratio at national, provincial and city levels, and when it increased it incurred burden on healthcare capacity.

He said that keeping in view the disease risk, certain restrictions were imposed focusing on high-risk sectors with mass gathering, however, he said that an overall poor administrative compliance of guidelines and actions was seen, and requested all provincial administrations to seriously take note of that.

He said there were certain variants of the virus originating from African states, where travel restrictions were being imposed to contain disease spread.

He said senior citizens walk-in registration was introduced for above 70 years age citizens and now they could visit for vaccination from all listed vaccination centres.

He said “this time is not of any complacency rather strict compliance of SOPs. Covid-19 is a deadly virus but we can control it just as we controlled it by following the SOPs during the first wave.”

Dr Sultan said the government was seeking full cooperation of the citizens in adhering to the SOPs. “We can save precious lives including those of our near and dear ones by taking preventive measures.”

He asked the citizens to wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands with soap frequently, and avoid crowded places.

He urged the healthcare workers and those eligible to get vaccinated to protect themselves as well as their loved ones.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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