Planning minister urges citizens to follow SOPs, get vaccinated or risk ‘devastation’ from the Delta variant
Planning Minister Asad Umar on Thursday warned that there was a “rapid” increase in the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals, as well as those requiring critical care, and urged the public to continue adhering to preventative SOPs and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“Rapid build-up starting to take place in COVID patients’ hospital inflow, as well as patients in critical care,” he said on Twitter. “This Indian [delta] variant has caused devastation in countries in the region. Please follow SOPs and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do not risk your own and others’ lives,” he added.
On Thursday morning, Pakistan’s national coronavirus positivity ratio crossed 5 percent after nearly a month. According to the National Command and Operation Center, the number of patients requiring critical care increased by 78 from 2,258 to 2,336 in 24 hours, raising fears that the country’s healthcare infrastructure could become overburdened if the pandemic is not brought under control once more.
In an appearance on Geo News, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan said the Delta variant was especially dangerous, as it was spreading very rapidly. Noting that any mutations can boost infection, he stressed that all vaccines currently available in Pakistan had proven effective at preventing serious infections.
Echoing Umar’s warning, he said available data suggested a fourth wave of the pandemic was emerging in Pakistan. Citing public exhaustion following three waves of the pandemic, he said the primary cause for the current surge was that citizens were becoming more lax with SOPs.
To a question, he urged citizens to celebrate the upcoming Eidul Azha festival—which the NCOC had advised the government to allocate five days off for instead of the three P.M. Khan has approved—in a “limited, closed” environment.