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Covid-19 in Pakistan: Govt maintains situation ‘under control’ despite record daily infections

Despite continued breaches of SOPs, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health says lockdowns unlikely to be reinstated soon
by TR Pakistan

The numbers: Three months after the coronavirus pandemic made its way to Pakistan, the total number of its cases has reached 64,028 with 1,317 deaths as of Friday afternoon. While 22,305 patients have recovered from the virus, Punjab has 22,964 of the total cases. Sindh has a total of 25,309 cases, while the tally has reached 8,483 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3,928 in Balochistan, and 2,100 in Islamabad. Meanwhile, Gilgit Baltistan, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir have 658 and 227 cases respectively.

Social Distancing: During Eid, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) put in place by the government were widely ignored by the masses, offering Eid prayers in large gatherings and traveling outside of their homes. The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza underlined that the number of deaths due to coronavirus is rapidly escalating. On Monday, Dr. Mirza warned the public that if SOPs are not followed properly, the government will reinstate strict lockdowns. He said that the only way to curb the spread of the virus was to stay home. Despite this warning, Mirza said today, that the government was not going to impose strict lockdown anytime soon as the situation in hospitals was under control and satisfactory. This came after a record single-day increase in covid-19 patients on Thursday.

Search for medicine: The Sindh government decided to launch an anti-covid-19 program, similar to campaigns launched to fight other diseases in the past. This campaign will also work on the passive immunization trials that have been successful so far in Pakistan. Other efforts being made to find treatments and cures for coronavirus included a drug called hydroxychloroquine. However, its clinical trials have been suspended after a higher death rate was observed in patients undergoing these trials.

Around the world: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the coronavirus pandemic has infected 5,596,550 people globally and caused 353,373 deaths. Many countries like South Korea and Germany have started opening up businesses even though an increase in the number of infections has been observed after reopening. Countries like Brazil, have a high count of confirmed coronavirus infections but no imposition of lockdowns. The United States of America, still registering a high number of coronavirus cases, has started to open up its economy and ease restrictions on businesses. Hard-hit countries like Italy, Spain, and Iran have also gradually eased their restrictions. As many other countries implement varying regulations for lifting the lockdowns, the United Kingdom is still encouraging isolation until June.

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