Punjab witnessed a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases after the government allowed educational institutes and marriage halls to resume activities in phases. More than 122 positive cases were confirmed on October 13.
“The daily hospital admission rate has risen to 1.5% from 0.4% in August’s third week,” said Punjab Health Secretary Captain (retd) Usman Younis on SAMAA TV’s Naya Din on Wednesday. He said the rise in coronavirus cases might seem insignificant when compared to July’s 33% positivity rate, but it was alarming.
“We must understand we have to live with the SOPs as part of our lives now,” he said. He added that closing down educational institutes and marriage halls was not the solution.
“Governments all over the world have realised that lockdown is not a sustainable solution,” he said. “We have no choice other than to maintain social distancing and follow the SOPs until we have the vaccine.” Quarantine centres across the province will be reopened if needed, he added.
Speaking about gatherings, Captain Younis said of 1,500 random samples taken from various marriage halls, only two tested positive.
He said the level of SOP compliance at educational institutions was satisfactory, but its full impact would be visible after six to eight weeks.
The total number of reported coronavirus cases in Punjab is 101,014 as of October 14, according to the NCOC.