Asad Umar says new restrictions to be announced on Friday
Pakistan reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths this week since the virus outbreak in February last year, National Command and Operation Centre chief Asad Umar said.
In a media briefing on Wednesday, he said that approximately 600 coronavirus patients from across the country are being admitted to hospitals every day.
“Presently, the number of patients on oxygen is more than 4,500 which is 30% more than than the first wave of the virus,” Umar pointed out.
The positivity ratio of the deadly virus in major cities across Pakistan has spiked due to the UK variant. Here are some of the numbers:
>Mardan – 33%
>Peshawar – 26%
>Lahore – 27%
>Multan – 21
>Rawalpindi – 28%
“Sindh, which we initially believed was safe from the virus, has seen a rise in positive cases as well,” the minister said. On Tuesday, the infection rate in Karachi and Hyderabad reached 13% and 15%.
Umar said that there are multiple cities where the capacity of ventilators has reached 80%. “Another alarming situation is the increase in the supply chain of oxygen in the country.”
Pakistan has tried to control the virus situation with strict implementation of precautionary measures and SOPs. We have to continue doing that because the virus is spreading rapidly in the region, the NCOC chief said.
Iran reported over 25,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, while India recorded nearly 275,000 new cases with over 1,700 deaths. “A new double mutant has also been found in India after which Pakistan placed a restriction on travellers from the country.”
Umar revealed that the government has prepared new guidelines and shared them with the provincial governments. They will be announced on Friday, April 23.
“This is the last chance to follow SOPs and curb the spread of the virus otherwise we will not have any other choice but to close big cities,” the minister warned.