LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said on Tuesday that due to our financial situation, we cannot implement a lockdown for long periods and we will have to observe precautionary measures to control the pandemic.

Sharing details about Covid-19, she told media at a press conference, here today that the number of confirmed patients in Punjab is 27,850 and in the last 24 hours 1610 people tested positive. A total of 7,116 people have recovered, 540 people have lost their lives which include 43 deaths in the last 24 hours. She said that overall Punjab has conducted 245,544 tests with 6371 tests in the last 24 hours.

Lahore is worst affected district with 12,878 patients. Rawalpindi has 2,255 patients, Gujranwala 1435, Multan 1220 and Faisalabad has 1662 confirm patients. Punjab has conducted the highest number of Contact Tracing with 90871 tests. Due to Contact Tracing, 4887 more patients have been identified in Punjab.

The minister said that as per guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Contract Tracing has been intensified which will help control the spread of the virus. She said a lot of rumors about the facilities and resources in the Govt Sector Hospitals are being spread. The latest figures are that Lahore has 119, Rawalpindi has 113, Faisalabad 16 and Muzaffargarh has 3 critically ill patients. Over all 251 patients are in serious condition.

“As per directions of the Chief Minister Punjab, the data of patients is daily reviewed at the Corona Command and Control Center. The number of available beds in Lahore is 539 currently and only confirmed and critically ill patients are kept there.

Elaborating, she said the Cabinet Committee on Corona advised the department to conduct tests in general population and the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department constituted Technical Working Group to start smart sampling in entire Punjab with special focus on Lahore.

In order to conduct the smart sampling, People Institute for Global Health University, Center for Economic Research in Pakistan, Mahboobul Haq Center for Economic Research LUMS, Center for International Development Harvard University, London School of Economics Universities from Georgetown and Washington jointly worked with the Govt of the Punjab.

The researchers were asked to share a report by 28th April which said that out of 35,000 samples in Punjab, as many as 21,000 samples were taken from Lahore and an amount of Rs. 60 million was spent on the process.

The minister further said, “The sample results showed a ratio of 5.8 % positive patients in Lahore due to which the treatment facilities have been scaled up in Lahore.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020