Says Covid-19 positivity rate increasing in province
Approximately 33,000 people in coronavirus hotspots across Punjab are under a complete lockdown, Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare Yasmin Rashid said.
In a media briefing on Sunday, she said that the positivity rate in the province has increased. In Lahore, the rate has increased to 20%, while Faisalabad and Multan reported an infection rate of 27% and 23%.
In the last 24 hours, 28 people succumbed to the deadly virus in Lahore after which 15 areas in the city were sealed. Two neighbourhoods of Multan and 10 of Rawalpindi have been completely locked down as well.
“Similar rules will apply to areas where the positivity rate exceeds 8%,” Rashid said.
Earlier in the day, Punjab extended the province-wide lockdown to May 17.
“When you talk about a pandemic, the most important thing to talk about are the precautionary measures,” the minister said, emphasising wearing masks and practising social distancing.
The National Command and Operation Centre recently announced new restrictions for Pakistan:
>commercial activity to close after 6pm
>no business on Saturdays and Sundays
>50% work from home
>ban on indoor and outdoor dining
Rashid said that it was very important to follow these rules and that the government will ensure the precautionary measures are followed.
“For new provincial SOPs, the government will meet tomorrow,” she added.
Rashid said that presently, the highest number of people are getting vaccinated in Punjab.
“So far, we have administered 900,000 doses,” she revealed, pointing out that 34,000 people were vaccinated in the last 24 hours. “Our aim is to vaccinate between 34,000 and 35,000 people every day.”
The portal for the vaccination of frontline workers in Punjab has been opened and workers are being vaccinated on priority.
Rashid said that Punjab is the only province where people are being provided with a home vaccination service. “Over 1,600 people have been vaccinated through the service so far which is only valid for people of or above 60 years.”
You can call 1033 to avail the service. The Punjab government is planning to introduce special bus routes for people who can’t commute to vaccination centres as well.
“The federal government will be giving us one million vaccines by the end of April,” the minister said. “But it’s important to understand that it will take some time to administer these vaccines.”
We are hoping to vaccinate all elderly people, specially those above 50, by the end of May, she added.
Rashid assured that the oxygen and ventilator condition in the province was under control. For any coronavirus patient, here are some helplines that are working round the clock.
The Sindh government has sought the army’s help in a letter to the Interior Ministry for the implementation of coronavirus SOPs.
We will inform the ministry regarding troop employment and equipment after holding consultations over the matter, the letter stated. The government has also warned that a province-wide lockdown may be imposed if the case trend stays high.
On Saturday, army troops were deployed to Peshawar and Islamabad. The Punjab government, too, has sent its letter requesting help.