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LAHORE: While the province of Punjab is witnessing a gradual rise in Covid-19 infection rate, a new variant has spread alarm among the health authorities who are closely monitoring the situation to deal with it.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has confirmed the presence of new variant after Delta variant and asked the people to get vaccinated and also follow Corona SOPs.

Out of total 17510 coronavirus tests conducted during the last 24 hours, 579 fresh virus cases and 24 fatalities were reported taking the provincial tally of virus cases to 335,483 and death toll to 11019.

Out of 24 deaths reported during the last 24 hours, nine were reported in Lahore, eight in Rawalpindi, three in Rahim Yar Khan, one each in Faisalabad and Muzaffargarh taking the death toll in these districts to 4408, 1596, 273, 1175 and 276, respectively.

With the recovery of 374 more corona positive patients, the total number of recovered patients in Punjab has reached to 332,078. On the other hand, as many as 1489 coronavirus recoveries were reported across the country during the past 24 hours taking the tally of recoveries to 938843 with positive rate of 91.6 percent.

As per breakup of corona cases and deaths in major cities of the province, Lahore has so far reported 183036 cases and 4408 deaths, Rawalpindi 28189 cases and 1596 deaths, Faisalabad 21764 cases and 1175 deaths, Multan 18180 cases and 870 deaths, Gujranwala 8425 cases and 429 deaths, Rahim Yar Khan 6242 cases and 273 deaths, Sargodha 8546 cases and 291 deaths, Sheikhupura 3870 cases and 120 deaths, Muzaffargarh 2320 cases and 276 deaths, Sahiwal 3378 cases and 93 deaths and Sialkot reported 7225 cases and 239 deaths.

Talking to media after inaugurating Blood Transfusion Authority office here Friday, Dr Yasmin Rashid said that after Delta, a new type of virus has been identified; however, 70 percent of Delta virus is present in Punjab. She added that cases of new variant have been reported and details will be shared soon.

She stated that door to door corona vaccination drive is running successfully and producing good results; negligence in Covid-19 vaccination process will not be tolerated.

Answering a question, she said that enquiry is underway in the matter pertaining to purchase of medicines and strict action will be taken under the law if any wrong doing is found.

She said that 549 blood banks are registered and efforts are underway to raise their standard to international level. She said that Blood Transfusion is important component of health system.

Moreover, while Pakistan and other Southeast Asian countries currently grappling with a surge in Covid-19 cases, Google today announced a total commitment of $7.5 million in new grant funding and other support to help alleviate the current pandemic crisis.

As part of this new commitment,, Google’s philanthropic arm, is providing a USD$1.5 million grant to UNICEF to support urgent Covid-19 response needs across five countries including Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. With this grant, UNICEF will deploy female vaccinators in Covid vaccination centres to increase the number of women being vaccinated and boost vaccine communication in Pakistan. UNICEF will also continue to support governments and communities to control the spread of the virus and reduce the number of deaths including by enhancing preparedness for possible future waves of Covid-19.

Announcing these new commitments, Farhan Qureshi, Country Director for Google Pakistan said, “The current surge in Covid-19 cases is causing immense pressure on our healthcare system, and this grant to UNICEF aims to deepen our support for Pakistan at this critical time. We’ll also continue to focus on ensuring timely access to information, as well as tools for all Pakistanis to stay informed, connected and safe during this crisis.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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