Pakistan sees drop in COVID-19 deaths during ‘smart lockdown’


ISLAMABAD: The “smart lockdown” across the country to combat the spread of the COVID-19 has seen a drop in the number of infections and deaths in the country

According to the national COVID-19 portal, the number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 191,022 with Sindh reporting 74,070 cases, Punjab 69,536, Balochistan 9,817, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 23,887, Islamabad 11,483, Gilgit-Baltistan 1,337 and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) 892.

The country recorded 4,283 recoveries in the past 24 hours, taking the number of cured cases to 77,754. The death toll reached 3,808 with the reporting of 78 more deaths in the last 24 hours – a considerable drop in the death toll compared with the usual over 100 deaths in the previous days.

Punjab reported 1,228 new cases and 21 new deaths in the past 24 hours. The province has so far recorded 1,516 deaths. Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK collectively reported 298 new cases and four fatalities.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Wednesday, Punjab Health Minister Yasmeen Rashid said the government was imposing one-week lockdown in seven areas of Lahore, where a cluster of cases had been detected. The areas undergoing the lockdown are Gulberg, Model Town, Faisal Town, Garden Town, DHA, Gulshan-i-Ravi, and Walled City.

The federal capital reported two deaths and 264 cases, taking the death and confirmed cases rally to 108 and 11,483 respectively. Gilgit-Baltistan reported 11 new cases and AJK 23.

Sindh reported 1,414 confirmed cases and 37 deaths during the past 24 hours. In his daily briefing on the coronavirus situation in the province, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said 7,400 tests were carried out over the past 24 hours, out of which 1,414 came back positive. With the new cases, the provincial tally has increased to 74,070.

Thirty-seven more deaths were recorded during the period, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,161 in Sindh.

Balochistan reported 183 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the provincial tally to 9,817. The health department confirmed the death of two more people taking the toll to 108.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 499 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 23,887. The health department confirmed death of 14 more people taking the toll to 869.

Markets, shops sealed for violating SOPs

Meanwhile, the KP health department has directed all the medical teaching institutions to allocate 20% for COVID-19 patients, start coronavirus tests round the clock, feed data to the health system on daily basis and ensure availability of additional staff for best possible care of the patients.

Meanwhile, the government has shut down more than 874 markets/shops and one industrial unit, while 1,409 transporters were fined and their vehicles sealed for violating the SOPs, according to the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Over 9,532 violations of health guidelines/instructions were observed across the country over the past 24 hours, the NCOC said.

Overall, 4,479 violations were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,445 in Punjab, 1,000 in Sindh, 818 in Balochistan, 585 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 156 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 49 in Islamabad.

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