92 coronavirus hotspots identified in 20 cities as cases surge
‘Take precautions, protect the elderly’
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Sunday said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has identified 92 Covid-19 hotspots in 20 cities.
Taking to Twitter, he said: “NCOC has identified 92 hotspots in 20 cities, which cover 40% of all active cases & effect only 3% of Pak population.”
“We can have substantial impact on disease spread while minimizing disruption in livelihood of citizens. Effective hotspot lockdown can make a decisive difference,” he added.
A total of 4,951 new coronavirus cases have surfaced in the country over the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 178,892, with 65, 739 cases in Punjab, 69,628 in Sindh, 21,444 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9,328 in Balochistan, 1,278 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 10,662 in Islamabad and 813 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The death toll from the virus stands at 3,542 with 119 deaths reported over the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has asked citizens to initiate special care for the elderly during the pandemic.
During a media briefing here on Sunday, Dr Mirza stressed the need for wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands to stay safe from the deadly disease.
As of now, 72 per cent of Covid-19 deaths in the country are of people over the age of 50, said Dr Mirza, adding that senior citizens should avoid public transport and crowded spaces.
Officials have repeatedly stressed that the fatality rate among the elderly and the immunocompromised population is significantly higher than in the younger population. Asymptomatic persons are often unknowing transmitters of the virus to those more susceptible to the disease – even if the latter do not step out of their houses.
Hence, the government has stressed on social distancing and cautioned those who do head out for work, or necessary commitments, to maintain distance from the elderly and vulnerable at home, as well as adopt other precautionary measures.
Given the rapid spread of the deadly virus, a ‘smart lockdown’ has been enforced in several districts of the country.
Experts have also stressed that age does not guarantee safety from the virus.
Numerous cases have been reported of people in younger age brackets having a tough time defeating the coranavirus. Some have also succumbed to the disease.
In Pakistan, these include the cases of two young doctors who succumbed to the disease, as well as reports by Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab.
In a statement made earlier this month, Wahab said that as of June 11, 1,712 children under the age of 10 had been infected by the virus, and four of them had succumbed to the disease.
Addressing the media, Dr Mirza said that Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is taking all the steps to ensure the availability of remdesivir for coronavirus patients. “DRAP has issued import and registration letters to the manufacturers to ensure the availability of remdesivir for coronavirus patients, particularly during emergencies,” Mirza said. He said that US Food and Drug Association (FDA) has recently approved the usage of remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus.
Keeping in view the mushrooming numbers of virus affected patients in the country, Mirza stated that the regulatory body has issued licenses to two importers and 14 local manufacturers.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for DRAP said that the drug can only be used by patients suffering from a critical condition and that too with proper prescriptions of health professionals. “Under the given conditions, the injections will be available at specific hospitals and institutions instead of the open markets,” the spokesperson said. Local manufacturers have been directed to strictly monitor the clinical use of remdesivir.”
The spokesperson added the National Command and Control Centre (NOCC) along with DRAP considered the usage of remdesivir after the US, Japan, UK and Europe approved the usage of the drug after successful trials.