Decision to Close Hotspots to Stop Corona Spread

Cities have been pointed out by the government

According to Baaghi TV reports, the growing spread of corona virus in Pakistan is continuing, and the government has decided to close down hotspots in order to arrest it. In relation to the hotspots, the National Command and Operations Centre has taken the important step of identifying twenty cities as part of the testing, tracing, and quarantine strategy.

The National Command and Operations Centre has issued a directive that further steps need to be taken in twenty cities regarding the spread of corona. Amongst the cities most affected are Lahore, Islamabad,  Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Khairpur, DG Khan, Ghotki, Swat, Malakand, Mardan and others.

The report says that more than 300 corona cases were recorded in Islamabad sub-sectors G9/2 and G9/3. In addition to this, I8, I10, Ghauri Town, Bara Kahu, G6, and G7 are new hotspots. Protective and precautionary measures need to be stricter in cities that have been identified for growing corona cases.

Previously, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that according to the latest figures there are 54,138 confirmed corona cases province-wide, and 1537 new cases were recorded during the last 24 hours. She said this during a press conference today at the Chief  Minister’s office. On the occasion, Commissioner Lahore Saifullah Anjum, CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed, Additional Secretary Specialised Health Care and Medical Education Department Lahore, Dr Asif Tufail, CEO Mayo Hospital Professor Dr Asad Aslam Khan, and Deputy Commissioner Lahore Danish Afzaal were also present.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid further said that province-wide, 1038 individuals have lost their battle against the virus, and 62 people lost their lives to it during the past 24 hours. 18,000 patients province-wide have defeated corona virus and regained their health. 9103 corona tests were conducted during the past 24 hours and overall 356,678 tests were conducted in the province. Lahore is being considered a centre for corona virus spread and there are 26,487 corona cases in the city. There are 4217 corona cases in Rawalpindi, 3140 in Multan, 2014 in Gujranwala, 3750 in Faisalabad, and between 500 and 700 in other big cities of Punjab.

There was and informational campaign regarding the strict implementation of precautionary measures after the relaxation in the lockdown; however the majority of the public ignored them. The government sealed shops and markets for violation of SOPs but unfortunately the public still continued to take the pandemic seriously. On a visit to Lahore, Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for a different strategy to stop the spread of corona in affected areas. According to a survey over the past two days, the areas of Lahore most affected by corona include apart from Shahdara, inner city, Mazang, Shadbagh, Harbanspura, Gulberg, Cantt., Nishtar Town and Allama Iqbal Town, some residential colonies as well.

According to the decision, after closing down these areas, groceries, medical stores, factories making preventive equipment, and various related sectors will be opened. As part of the implementation these areas will be closed down from 12 o clock at night tomorrow. Affected areas shall remain closed for at least two weeks but during this time the corona situation will be assessed. If the number of cases goes down the decision to reopen these areas can be taken later. The government appeals to the public to follow the SOPs otherwise more areas will have to be closed down as well. The only way to save oneself from the virus is to maintain social distancing and follow precautionary guidelines. This pandemic has engulfed the whole world and severely crippled economies. China arrested it with a brilliant strategy but there too, new corona cases are appearing.

The population of New Zealand in respect to the population of Lahore is 50%. Pakistan is the fifth most populated nation in the world and the more populated a country will be, the greater the spread of the virus. Compared to India, Pakistan is fighting the virus with a very effective strategy. Even at this stage, the number of cases and especially deaths due to corona in Pakistan is lower than other countries. As government, we are doing our best to fight this pandemic and using all the resources we can. All kinds of medical services are available in Punjab for corona virus patients. There are 140 high dependency beds for specialised care in government and 368 in private hospitals, and 30% of the total has been reserved for further patients of the corona virus. Today 15 news ventilators have been installed in Mayo Hospital and 15 in Jinnah Hospital. During the next week the number of high dependency beds will be increased by a thousand. Actemra injection is available in all government hospitals and is being administered to patients as required. The Healthcare Commission has also been instructed to ensure the supply of Actemra injection to private hospitals. Today 10 new ventilators will be added to Nishtar Medical College and the ventilators in Tayyip Erdoğan hospital will be made functional.

Fake news about corona virus to spread fear and hysteria amongst the public, on social media, needs to be stopped. The helpline number for Punjab is 1033 on which anyone can record a complaint regarding corona, take medical advice, or ask about the treatment of their loved ones admitted in hospital. Lahore’s citizens can contact 042-99211136-8. Sealing affected areas will help arrest the spread of the virus and we hope that the public will strictly follow guidelines.

While answering questions from journalists during the press conference, Health Minister Punjab, Dr Yasmin Rashid said that in the affected areas markets will be closed down and only shops selling essentials shall be allowed to remain open. There are 358 cases in Allama Iqbal Town and 259 in Wapda Town. Patients cannot be shifted to ventilators on the behest of their family members. They are shifted according to requirement. There was a meeting with YDA two days ago during which assurance was given to them that all possible help will be given regarding treatment, with which they expressed their satisfaction. NDMA is helping a lot. Problems of frontline workers will be solved on a priority basis. We have a great regard for the doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff participating in the fight against corona virus.

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