Nationwide testing for virus still far short of NCOC’s claimed capacity of 50,000/day
Pakistan on Wednesday morning reported there were 391 more recoveries from the novel coronavirus than new infections in the preceding 24 hours, reducing the country’s active cases to 107,417.
The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), in its daily situation report, claimed that the country now has the capacity to conduct more than 50,000 tests for COVID-19 per day. However, these claims have yet to be matched by reality, with nationwide testing coming in below 25,000 for a second day, raising questions about the true spread of infections.
Experts believe that more testing, coupled with stringent preventative and quarantine measures, is required for any nation to overcome the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, any country with a positivity ratio over 5 percent is likely not testing enough; Pakistan’s positivity ratio is currently over 16 percent.
In the 24 hours preceding 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, Pakistan’s death toll climbed by 60 to 3,755. The country’s confirmed cases, meanwhile, rose to 188,926 after recording 3,892 new infections against 23,380 tests. In the same period, 4,283 patients were declared COVID-free, raising recoveries to 77,754, or 41.2 percent of confirmed infections. There are currently 107,417 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, with the National Command Operation Center reporting 3,337 of them are in critical condition.
Confirmed Cases, Total – 188,926 (Tests: 1,150,141)
Punjab – 69,536 (Tests: 445,766)
Sindh – 72,656 (Tests: 395,287)
Balochistan – 9,634 (Tests: 43,504)
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – 23,388 (Tests: 128,303)
Islamabad – 11,483 (Tests: 107,644)
Gilgit-Baltistan – 1,337 (Tests: 14,652)
Pakistan-administered Kashmir – 892 (Tests: 13,930)
Deaths – 3,755
Recoveries – 77,754
Nationwide, “smart lockdowns” are being implemented in viral hotspots, with the aim of curbing the spread of COVID-19. According to the NCOC, around 500 such “hotspots” have been identified and would be placed under lockdown in phases to allow the economy to continue functioning while isolating the virus.
The provincial government on Tuesday decided to place 33 areas under “smart lockdown,” including eight more neighborhoods of capital Lahore. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has also directed authorities to present plans for sealing more hotspot areas of COVID-19 in Lahore, while the local administrations has been ordered against allowing the establishment of cattle markets in urban areas ahead of Eidul Azha.
On Wednesday morning, authorities reported 21 new deaths due to COVID-19, raising total fatalities to 1,516. The province also reported 1,228 new infections, raising confirmed cases to 69,536, against 19,935 recoveries. There are now 48,085 active cases of the virus in Punjab province.
“We are working hard to improve the recovery rate and reduce the death rate by conducting as many tests as possible so that timely treatment of the detected cases can be started,” Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said during his daily press briefing on Tuesday. He urged the people of the province to observe self-isolation at home, ensure social distancing house, and wear masks when they have to go out.
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the province on Wednesday morning climbed by 1,564 to 72,656. Additionally, the province’s death toll climbed by 21 to 1,124, while its recoveries rose to 38,401. Overall, the province now has 33,131 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
Adviser to C.M. on Information Ajmal Wazir on Tuesday said the province had implemented a smart lockdown in 235 areas to stop the spread of coronavirus. He told journalists the number of COVID-19 infections in areas under “smart lockdown” was 3,130. He said 640,125 people had been confined to their houses.
The province reported 12 new deaths on Wednesday morning, raising its death toll to 855. In the past 24 hours, its recoveries rose by 2,516 to 9,385, while its confirmed cases have increased by 755 to 23,388. There are currently 13,148 active cases of coronavirus in the province.
The province on Tuesday reported a decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day. “About 112 cases of COVID-19 cases were reported in the province yesterday, 147 cases were reported 2 days ago and 166 cases of coronavirus surfaced three days ago,” said the Health Department.
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the province on Wednesday rose by 47 to 9,634, with 2 new fatalities raising the total death toll to 106. Overall, 3,694 patients have recovered from the virus, leaving 5,834 active cases of COVID-19.
Islamabad on Wednesday raised its confirmed coronavirus cases by 264 to 11,483, with 108 fatalities. Overall there have been 5,012 recoveries, leaving 6,363 active cases of COVID-19.
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Gilgit-Baltistan rose by 11 on Wednesday to 1,337. Overall, the region has thus far reported 23 deaths and 961 recoveries, leaving 353 active cases.
In Pakistan-administered Kashmir, confirmed cases have increased by 23 to 892. The region has thus far reported 23 deaths and 366 recoveries, leaving 503 active cases of the coronavirus.
Globally, the virus has now infected more than 9,354,860 people, with over 479,815 reported deaths. Governments across the world halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home at the peak of the virus’s spread, but there are now signs of easements in nations that have reined it in to help shuttered economies recover. Overall, around 5,041,825 patients of the 9.3 million+ infected have recovered thus far.