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LAHORE: The positivity rate of coronavirus in the province has slightly declined from 12.85 percent to 12.32 percent, as out of 22,624 Covid-19 tests conducted during the last 24 hours, as many as 2789 fresh virus cases and 64 fatalities were reported across Punjab taking the provincial tally of cases to 223,181 and death toll to 6427.

The Punjab government has approved a fund of Rs 1.5 billion for purchasing a million shots of the coronavirus vaccine amid surge in Covid-19 cases.

With the recovery of 1294 more virus patients, the number of recovered patients in the province has reached to 189,856. On the other hand, 2,148 coronavirus recoveries were reported across the country during the last 24 hours taking the tally to 605,274 with recovery rate of 89.9 percent.

In Lahore, 1708 fresh Covid-19 cases and 30 deaths were reported during the last 24 hours. This led to necessity of immediate steps to curtail the spread of virus by boosting vaccination drive, health experts said.

Health professionals confirmed that a large number of teenagers and minors in Punjab have contracted the British-variant coronavirus during the last one month.

As per data, about 19,367 under-18 children have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak of the infections in Punjab so far. Of them, 8,520 were infected during the first three months of the current year in the province. Out of the total children infected in Punjab, 8,390 are from Lahore.

As per breakup of corona cases and deaths in major cities of the province, Lahore has so far reported 118,594 cases and 2,626 deaths, Rawalpindi 18,192 cases and 1,017 deaths, Faisalabad 13,392 cases and 632 deaths, Multan 10,804 cases and 429 deaths, Sheikupura 2,247 cases and 62 deaths, Bahawalpur 4,868 cases and 160 deaths, Gujranwala 6,013 cases and 185 deaths, Gujrat 5,890 cases and 95 deaths, Rahim Yar Khan 3,098 cases and 149 deaths, Sialkot 5,273 cases and 190 deaths and Sargodha reported 4,207 cases and 167 deaths.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, while talking to a media after his visit of the Azadi Interchange Vaccination Centre, here on Thursday, said that the Punjab government has approved a fund of Rs 1.5 billion for purchasing one million shots of the coronavirus vaccine while more vaccination centres for the anti-Covid-19 vaccine inoculation are being established in the province.

The CM maintained that coronavirus infection rate during the third wave has reached 12 percent in the province. He appreciated the service of paramedical staff and doctors during the Covid-19 situation.

“Our first priority is to administer frontline health workers and so far we have administered around 0.4 million people in the province,” he said, adding: “The pressure is mounting on our hospitals and compliance of corona SOPs is the only way out from the current situation.”

He said the oxygen cylinder demand has also increased by 7 percent in the province and there are seven cities in the province having over 12 percent positivity ratio. He clarified that people should get shots of this vaccine as it is approved after tests and trials.

“We are also heading towards making vaccine on our own; adhering to SOPs is the onl7y way out from the situation, as best healthcare systems around the world are also facing problems,” he said.

After the employees of Chief Minister’s Office contracted coronavirus, the Punjab CM has restricted his activities and only important meetings are being scheduled, sources said, adding: “About 16 officials of the CM House have tested positive for coronavirus.”

The CM will only hold important meetings and visits at his office while there was a ban imposed on normal visits due to coronavirus, the sources added.

Moreover, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid announced that the provincial government has started a facility to vaccinate disabled people, who cannot come to the vaccination centres, at their homes.

The disabled persons can send their CNIC numbers to 1,033 to register themselves and ambulances provided by the provincial government would come to their homes to vaccinate them.

She urged people to wear masks and follow SOPs, saying it was beneficial for them and their loved ones.

On the other hand, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar while talking to different delegations said that corona vaccine is being administered in a completely transparent manner without any discrimination.

He said that the war against corona has become a war for the survival of the nation and Pakistan cannot afford any negligence in it. He said the opposition parties should not politicize virus issue and support the government in the battle against coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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