The third wave has begun, says government
Pakistan is now facing the third wave of COVID-19. Saturday marked the third consecutive day more than 2,000 cases were reported.
A total of 2,338 cases and 46 deaths were recorded over 24 hours. The death toll has reached 13,476. The daily case positivity ratio is 5.5; an upward trend was seen as March began.
The country crossed the 600,000-case mark on March 11. In a media talk the previous day, Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had also warned of a third wave.
Dr Sultan has urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Inoculation for people over 60 started on March 10 and they will also receive the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine being given to health workers. Sajid Shah, the spokesperson of the national health ministry, has said the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine “could arrive any time.”
“The vaccinations will be done in reverse order by age, which means the oldest person who has registered will be vaccinated first,” said Planning Minister Asad Umar.
People over 60 years and all health workers can register for the vaccine by sending their CNIC numbers to 1166 or on https://nims.nadra.gov.pk/nims/.
On Friday, the Punjab government imposed a smart lockdown in Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha and Rawalpindi.
The government also suspended all sports activities in the province because of a rise in coronavirus cases. All outdoor and indoor games including hockey, football, snooker, gymnasium, volleyball and kabbadi have been postponed.
Peshawar has imposed a smart lockdown in four areas.The entry and exit points of the following localities will be sealed:
The lockdown will be imposed 6pm today and “shall remain in force till further orders”, said a notification.
In Islamabad, the district administration made it compulsory for residents to wear face masks at all times in public spaces.
Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Hamza Shafqat has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in the capital for two months.
Here are other orders the district administration announced in its notification:
The orders will remain in force until April 15.
In Sindh, Saeed Ghani the provincial education minister has warned that the government may have to opt for another lockdown if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.