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ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination, Abdul Qadir Patel on Monday emphasized the importance of social distancing and mask-wearing, expressing concern over increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Addressing a press conference, he said that keeping in view the current COVID-19 situation and considering the case positivity ratio of 4.6 percent in the last 24 hours, all concerned stakeholders had been asked to remain alert and vigilant.

He said that as per data, the daily death ratio had reached to 1.5% as one or two deaths were being occurred daily while five percent patients were on ventilator. As many as 176 more patients got admission in hospitals during the last 24 hours.

He said that more coronavirus cases were being reported throughout the country. He added, considering the situation, SOPs had been issued for offices and more focus was on its implementation side.

He said that overall 80% eligible population was fully vaccinated and the government had advised all provinces and regions to administer booster doses on a priority basis to further improve protection against COVID-19 transmission.

Covid-19 flaring again

Patel said that as per directions of the Prime Minister, special instructions had been issued to the Sindh government as more cases were being reported from Karachi and asked them to increase testing facility besides taking various measures to control the disease.

He said that a daily-base meeting was being held at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to closely monitor the situation and the apprised that mostly cases being reported were from BA.5 subvarient.

Patel said that special instructions had been issued to the provinces to ensure resources are available to manage any emergency like isolation center etc. and added that they had been asked to contact with the federal government in case of any need.

He said that discussion was being held with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to exactly know the demand and supply situation and manage any gap.

The minister also highlighted the need to strictly follow the guidelines for the management of markets for Eid-ul-Azha and also asked the citizens to avoid unnecessary movement during Eid days in crowded places.

He said, “So far we did not issue any direction to close down the markets as our appeal to the citizens is maintaining social distancing, using masks and sanitizers.” He added there is no need of starting smart lockdown in Karachi. He said that besides many other tall claims there was a fake claim of the past government of producing locally made ventilators in Pakistan. “They did not take things seriously.”

He said that presently available ventilators were sufficient in number in hospitals and in case of further need a strategy will be chalked out. He said that there was a need to create more awareness on the disease and all segment of society should come forward and educate people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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