Smart lockdown imposed at 5,082 spots across country

By: News Desk      Published: 03:29 PM, 30 Nov, 2020
Smart lockdown imposed at 5,082 spots across country

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Monday has been briefed about the latest situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and imposition of smart lockdown in different spots of the country to curb the spread of the virus.

The NCOC head and Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar chaired a session of the central monitoring and command desk for looking into COVID-related developments.

The session was attended by the executive director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Professor Dr Aamer Ikram and other high-level officials, whereas, Provincial chief secretaries attended the session via video link.

The pace of virus spread, implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs), availability of medical resources and other issues were discussed in the session. During the session, concerned federal and provincial officials have given a briefing to the high-ups regarding the smart lockdown amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

They elaborated that 5,082 spots with a population of over 2 million were kept under smart lockdown including 1,459 in Punjab, 206 in Sindh, 182 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and 330 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

A complete lockdown has been imposed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) till December 6 as the highest positivity rate is recorded in the region followed by 11.95 per cent in Balochistan including 9.9 per cent in Quetta.

In AJK region, the COVID-19 positivity rate was recorded highest in Mirpur up to 27.72 per cent followed by Muzaffarabad up to 23.44 per cent. The positivity rate in Sindh’s Hyderabad city stands at 18.21 per cent. 2,046 patients are in critical condition after contracting COVID-19, they added.

The positivity rate of coronavirus cases in Islamabad is recorded at 6.62 per cent, 3.43 per cent in GB, 5.57 per cent in KP, 18.9 per cent in Peshawar, 5.81 per cent in Swat, 6.22 per cent in Abbottabad, 14.4 per cent in Sindh, 17.95 per cent in Karachi, 18.21 in Hyderbad, 4.84 per cent in Punjab, 6.19 per cent in Lahore, 4.83 per cent in Rawalpindi, 3.14 per cent in Faisalabad. It is recorded 27.75 per cent in AJK’s Mirpur and 23.44 in Muzaffarabad.

278 patients put on ventilators, whereas, 2,046 more patients are in critical condition across the country. In Punjab, 467 patients are in critical condition, 675 in Sindh, 356 in KP, 323 in Islamabad, 16 in Balochistan, 23 in AJK and 5 in GB.

Earlier on Sunday, it emerged that five major cities of the country, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Hyderabad and Peshawar were contributing 70 per cent of coronavirus spread.

COVID-19 vaccine procurement

Asad Umar said that the forum has finalised its recommendations for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine.

Asad Umar, after chairing a session of NCOC, said in his Twitter message that the task force of experts headed by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had developed the recommendations which were discussed and finalised.

The recommendations will be presented to the federal cabinet tomorrow for its approval, he added.

On November 23, it emerged that the federal government had decided to approach international donors for financial assistance to purchase COVID-19 vaccine.

The government is likely to contact the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UNICEF for funding for the bulk-buying of doses of the vaccine. The health ministry will approach the multilateral donors through the Economic Affairs Division.

It will negotiate with them for financial assistance or a loan with no strings attached, the sources said, adding the health ministry has begun working on a coherent plan for the purpose.

It is noteworthy to mention here that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had earlier approved a technical supplementary grant worth $150 million for the advance purchase of coronavirus vaccine.