Fawad Chaudhry says hospitals reaching maximum capacity
The government may consider a nationwide lockdown if the third wave of coronavirus doesn’t subside in the upcoming week, Federal Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said.
Talking to the media in Karachi on Saturday, he said that the prime minister has always resisted a complete lockdown but if the number of deaths from the virus keeps going up, the government will have to take “difficult decisions”.
“Daily wagers, the poor segment [of society], and traders will suffer the most if a lockdown is imposed,” Chaudhry said, pointing out that to prevent this SOP implementation should be ensured.
The minister said that hospitals in major cities are under pressure. “In Lahore, 90% of ICU beds are full.” Oxygen beds in Gujranwala and Multan have reached 88% and 85% capacity.
The coronavirus positivity ratio in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is alarming. “The infection rate in Mardan has reached 40%,” Chaudhry revealed.
Five hundred and sixty ventilators in Pakistan are presently occupied.
For the upcoming general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan should devise separate SOPs. “I’m happy that Maryam Nawaz canceled her visit to Karachi today,” the minister said. “It’s important that political parties cooperate with the government in curbing the spread of the virus.”
Chaudhry pointed out that the coronavirus situation worsened in India because of the election campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hundreds of people were attending campaigns every day.
To help restaurants and businesses, the government is trying to work with food and other delivery companies so shopping can be done at home.
“Covid-19 vaccination will take some time,” the minister said. “It will at least take us a year to vaccinate the entire nation.”