Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health urges public to adopt preventative measures or risk conditions spiraling out of control
The positivity ratio of COVID-19 in Pakistan has doubled in the past few days, warned Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan on Saturday, as he urged the public to continue adopting preventative measures to curb the spread of the third wave of the pandemic.
“This is an alarming situation,” he told media in Islamabad, stressing that pressure on the country’s healthcare infrastructure increases whenever cases spike. “We are already seeing our hospitals come under pressure, especially in major cities of Punjab,” he said. The ongoing third wave of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have primarily targeted Punjab, which has emerged as the epicenter of the disease in the past two weeks.
“This is the time to practice great care,” urged Dr. Sultan. “The restrictions we announced last week were intended to target places where large groups of people can gather,” he said and lamented that the public response and government enforcement of standard operating procedures had both been lax.
Assuring the public that the government was working to vaccinate all eligible persons, he reiterated that anyone over 70 could walk-into any designated vaccination center after pre-registering via helpline 1166. “We are set to receive two additional shipments of vaccines within this month,” he said, adding that once the country had overcome the pandemic, all normal activities could resume with full vigor.
Until then, he emphasized, the only way to prevent infection is through precaution. “Please avoid going to crowded places and organize small weddings only in open air,” he said. “The entire country will suffer if people do not practice SOPs,” he warned and appealed to all local administrations to act now or risk disaster. “If we don’t act now, the entire situation could spiral out of control,” he warned.
The SAPM also said the government would announce greater restrictions on travel shortly.
The coronavirus positivity ratio in Pakistan spiked to 9.47 percent on Saturday as it reported 3,876 new infections—the highest single-day jump since July 2—after conducting 40,946 tests. Just a week ago, the national positivity ratio was just 5.5 percent.