Coronavirus cases in Pakistan rise to 1566, death toll at 15

Zafar Mirza says personal protection equipment for health workers sufficient for one month

Published: 10:40 PM, 29 Mar, 2020
Coronavirus cases in Pakistan rise to 1566, death toll at 15
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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 1,566 on Sunday after new cases were reported across the country with 502 cases in Sindh, 570 in Punjab, 141 in Balochistan, 192 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 116 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 43 in Islamabad and two in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The virus has claimed 15 lives in Pakistan. So far five persons have died in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, three in Sindh, one in Balochistan, one in Gilgit-Baltistan and five in Punjab. On the other hand, 30 patients have fully recovered.

Meanwhile, Sindh on Sunday reported two new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking Pakistan’s total toll to 15 and the provincial tally to three. Sindh Health and Population Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho confirmed that two more citizens have died from the novel coronavirus in Karachi.

“One of the patients was 83-years-old while the other was 70-years-old,” she said, adding that both patients had pneumonia and COVID-19. “The cause of death in both cases was pneumonia along with Covid-19,” she added.

Dr Zafar Mirza presser

PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza says personal protection equipment, sufficient for one month, for health workers of Islamabad Capital Territory, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan has been provided.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said all out efforts are being made to protect the health workers in fight against the COVID-19.

He said 28 affected people have been recovered. He said 857 of positive cases came from Iran, which makes 58 percent of the total patients, 191 arrived from other countries, and 420 cases are locally grown. He said 756 of 1566 cases are under treatment in various hospitals of the country and 745 of them are showing stable condition and likely to fully recover soon. He said 11 patients are in critical condition, who are being treated at ICU. He said 8,066 people are in quarantine centers and only 20 percent of them are Corona positive.

The Special Assistant urged the people to observe social distancing and avoid handshaking and hugging to prevent spread of the Coronavirus.

Zafar Mirza said that COVID-19 cases in Pakistan are less after analysis of the situation in other countries. “At this time, the global tally of COVID-19 cases is more than 664,000 and more than 31,000 deaths, whereas, nearly 150,000 recovered from the disease.”

“All necessary steps are being taken to cope with the situation amid coronavirus. Doctors and paramedical staff are being given safety equipment on an emergency basis. The government has provided safety equipment for one month to Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and AJK.”

Dr Mirza Mirza asked nationals to strictly follow the instructions of social distancing. He warned that the virus count could rise in Pakistan if people show negligence to follow the guidelines.

KP government’s steps

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government on Sunday decided to pay compensation to bereaved family of employees of all departments deployed on corona duty in case of death from coronavirus infection.

KP Government spokesman Ajmal Khan Wazir, in a media brief, said that Chief Minister Mehmood Khan has highly appreciated the services of doctors, paramedics, Pak Army, police and other departments in fight against Corona pandemic and announced the government would provide financial assistance to bereaved family if any of the employee get infected due to corona and embraced martyrdom.

He said the provincial government was thankful to all Ulemas, civil society and general public for extending support and cooperation to the government in this hour of tragedy.

Referring to media report regarding shortage of wheat and flour in the province, he said the daily wheat demand of KP is 10,000 ton while from KP food department’s wheat supply quota for flour mills is 5,000 ton daily.

He said all the district governments, food and relief departments have been directed to remain vigilant against profiteer and hoarders and ensure provision of wheat and flour to masses during corona pandemic lockdown.

Ajmal Wazir said the KP government would get 50,000 N-95 masks from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) by Sunday while other equipment including, gloves and etc have been arrived and provided to health, relief departments and district and Tehsil governments for distribution among doctors, para-medic and other essential staff as well as masses.

Regarding lockdown, the KP Government spokesman said that medical stores, grocery stores, bakers, bank franchise, agriculture’s departments, money transfer shops, courier, specific industrial units, vegetable and fruit shops, petrol and CNG pumps are exempted from the restriction of closure.

He said that soon the corona diagnostic testing would start in Bannu, DI Khan and Abbottabad where results would be given within three hours of the test.

PDMA Sindh

Meanwhile Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh has so far dispatched over one hundred thousand N-95 masks donated by China to various hospitals/medical centres of the province.

In addition, with the coordination of the health department over seventy thousand Personal Protection Equipment’s (PPEs) including sanitizers, gowns, gloves etc. have also been dispatched.

PDMA has provided logistic support to cater 4600 people at various quarantine centres of the province.

Balochistan situation

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Lango says the government is trying its level best to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the province.

In a statement, he said no segment of society is being ignored to save it from the epidemic. The Home Minister said he has directed concerned officials to keep a close vigilance on screening of Coronavirus cases at all jails in the province.

He directed the Provincial Prisons’ authorities to immediately release the criminals involved in minor crimes to minimize rush at lockups and jails.