Nationwide, 1,260 deaths have been reported, while 20,231 patients have recovered, leaving 39,736 active cases
Pakistan on Thursday morning reported 2,076 new infections of the novel coronavirus, raising confirmed cases to 61,227, amid reports that various hospitals across the country had started denying entry to patients due to lack of beds.
Healthcare professionals have long warned that Pakistan’s lax attitude toward the pandemic—easing restrictions while new infections are still on the rise and have yet to achieve their peak—risked overburdening the country’s medical infrastructure. Their warnings now appear to be tragically prescient.
Nationwide, 35 new deaths were reported, raising the total fatalities to 1,260 against 20,231 recoveries. There are currently 39,736 active cases of COVID-19.
Confirmed Cases, Total – 61,227 (Tests: 508,086)
Punjab – 22,037 (Tests: 217,726)
Sindh – 24,206 (Tests: 163,805)
Balochistan – 3,616 (Tests: 21,228)
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – 8,483 (Tests: 52,807)
Islamabad – 2,015 (Tests: 35,702)
Gilgit-Baltistan – 651 (Tests: 9,870)
Pakistan-administered Kashmir – 219 (Tests: 5,485)
Deaths – 1,260
Recoveries – 20,231
Among the hospitals that have reportedly started to refuse entry for new patients is Peshawar’s Hayatabad Medical Complex; Karachi’s Dow University of Health Science and Indus Hospital; and Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. Spokespersons for the medical facilities say arranging new beds for patients is not a major concern; rather, it is the lack of ventilators and other life-saving equipment that is forcing them to refer patients to other facilities.
On Thursday, Pakistan’s most populous province raised its confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 22,037, against 6,326 recoveries and 381 deaths, leaving 15,330 active cases of the disease.
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid on Wednesday said the government was ensuring the availability of ventilators for all hospitals in the province to cope with the surge of coronavirus cases during and immediately after the Eidul Fitr holidays.
Chairing a meeting of Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education in Lahore, she reviewed the number of corona patients in public hospitals across Punjab and was also briefed on measures for their treatment.
The provincial government on Wednesday announced it had allocated Rs. 2.7 billion to establish new hospitals, as well as expand intensive care and high-dependency units as part of its coronavirus response efforts. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed the provincial health department to ensure at least 500 monitors and 200 ventilators were available in the province. He also directed the completion, by June 2020, of a 50-bed hospital in Gulistan-e-Jauhar and a 200-bed infection disease control hospital at NIPA.
“So far 882 children under age of 10 have tested COVID-19 positive in Sindh,” Adviser to the Sindh C.M. Murtaza Wahab posted on Twitter. “This sharp increase in number shows how careless we have been and have unfortunately brought this virus home. It is still not too late to be careful. Can’t we defer shopping and socializing?”
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province on Thursday morning rose to 24,206. Additionally, the province raised its casualties to 380, while its recoveries rose to 9,270. Overall, the province now has 14,556 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
Adviser to the C.M. Ajmal Wazir on Wednesday warned that the provincial government might have to enforce a harsher lockdown if the cases of coronavirus in the province continue to surge. He also said that following Eid, all shops would remain open from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. for four days a week, while they would be closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The province continues to report the highest death toll due to COVID-19, reaching 425 on Thursday, against 2,632 recoveries and 8,483 confirmed cases.
There are currently 5,426 active cases in the province.
“If you do not follow the SOPs [to curb spread], coronavirus will not permit us to live,” warned provincial government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani on Wednesday. He said it was unlikely that any vaccine or medicine would be available for at least a year, and urged people to start wearing face masks and practice social distancing to allow the country to “learn to live with the virus.”
The province, which has extended its lockdown restrictions till next week and maintains a ban on public transport, has thus far reported 3,616 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with 41 deaths and 1,289 recoveries. It currently has 2,286 active cases of COVID-19.
Islamabad on Thursday raised its confirmed COVID-19 infections to 2,015, with 19 deaths and 152 recoveries. Presently, the Islamabad Capital Territory has 1,844 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, cases of the novel coronavirus rose to 651. Overall, it now has 9 deaths and 463 recoveries, leaving 179 active cases.
In Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the total number of confirmed cases has increased to 219. The region has also reported 5 deaths and 99 recoveries. There are currently 115 active cases of the virus in the disputed region.
Globally, the virus has now infected more than 5,790,100 people, with over 357,430 reported deaths. Governments across the world have halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home, but there are signs of easements to help shuttered economies recover. Overall, around 2,497,618 patients of the 5.7 million+ infected have recovered thus far.