Covid-19 cases rising, plan to reimpose strict lockdown after Eid: Top Pakistan official
Pakistan’s key figure in fight against the coronavirus pandemic has warned the people of the country to take precautionary measures “otherwise this crisis could turn into a huge tragedy”.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza, has said that Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases and deaths were on the rise and “strict lockdowns” could be reimposed across the country if the trajectory continued.
“As we promised when we eased the lockdown, if this trend continues we may reimpose strict lockdowns after Eid,” Dr Mirza said while speaking to the media in Islamabad on Monday. He lamented that the government’s instructions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to control the spread of the virus were not being followed.
The warning comes weeks after Pakistan had started phase-wise easing of the nationwide lockdown earlier this month.
Dr Mirza observed that apparently there was perception that threat of the coronavirus was over. “Unfortunately, there is now this thinking among us that this disease (Covid-19) was only here till Eid and that somehow it’ll disappear after Eid. This is a huge misunderstanding,” he said.
Pakistan’s coronavirus cases on Monday reached 56,349 with 1,748 new patients while the death toll climbed to 1,167 after 34 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours (bwteeen Sunday and Monday).
The Ministry of National Health Services reported that 22,491 cases were diagnosed in Sindh, 20,077 in Punjab, 7,905 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,407 in Balochistan, 1,641 in Islamabad, 619 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 209 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The authorities also had conducted 4,83,656 tests in the country, including 10,049 on Sunday.
The trajectory showed that the number was steadily going up and it was feared that it would further curve up in the wake of easing of lockdown before Eid which was observed on Sunday.