75% of those dying of COVID-19 were already suffering from some disease PM’s aide on health urges precautionary measures to curb virus spread


Zubair Qureshi


Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Sunday revealed 75% of those who died of coronavirus were suffering from some co-morbidities one or the other.
He was addressing a press conference in Islamabad as the countrywide Covid-19 tally crossed 176, 670 cases. Dr Mirza said the country had so far witnessed 3,501 deaths due to Covid-19 and 72% of total deaths were caused among above-50 patients and 70-75% were those who had already contracted some disease.
Sindh on Sunday reported total number 69,628, followed by Punjab with 65,739. The two provinces have collectively reported around 75 per cent of the country’s Covid-19 caseload.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 21,444 cases and Balochistan has reported 9,328 Covid-19 cases.
Federal capital Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have collectively confirmed 12,753 cases of the novel coronavirus.
Mirza reiterated the importance of taking precautionary measures — such as wearing masks, washing hands and practising social distancing — to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
“We have to fight against this disease on an individual level, family level and community level,” he said, listing down things that everyone should do to slow down the spread of Covid-19 while protecting the elderly.
Urging everyone to wear masks in public, Mirza reminded the nation that the government has made it mandatory to wear masks in public to prevent the spread of infections. “It doesn’t have to be a surgical mask, the point is to cover the face to prevent infection,” he said.
He also recommended keeping a physical distance of at least 2 metres, or 6 feet, from others while in public. “Shaking hands, hugging or any sort of physical contact is strictly not recommended,” he said.
Similarly washing hands frequently also minimize risk of infections, he said. Highlighting the most vulnerable groups of population during a lethal pandemic, Mirza said it was incumbent upon the younger, healthier people in the family to protect the elderly.
“If an elderly loved one is already suffering from a preexisting condition such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease or cancer, it’s our job to protect them,” he said.
He recommended that the elderly persons’ physical contact be minimized and urged them to take precautions to protect themselves from getting infected.
“The elderly should definitely wear masks, wash hands and stay physically away from people,” he said, adding that living rooms of the elderly should be disinfected often.