Covid-19 cases reduced by 70% due to effective lockdown

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PIMS to enhance capacity from 75 beds to 200

Zubair Qureshi

Lockdown in sub-sectors of G-9, I-8 and I-10 has yielded promising results, cutting daily emergence of new cases by 70 per cent. This was told by Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat while talking to the media here on Tuesday.
Before Eid-al-Fitr there were 2,000 cases but after Eid the number jumped to 10,000 and beyond, said Hamza Shafqaat adding it is high time we do surveillance of different sectors and residential areas and bring the ratio down to zero move ahead to new hot spots in the federal capital. “Daily 200 to 300 cases are easy to manage,” said he adding “but if the number jumps and people keep intermingling it will not be feasible to cater to 25,000 to 30,000 patients. It will be beyond our capacity” The solution is nothing but smart lockdown.
To a question, he said through lockdown of various areas of Islamabad the coronavirus cases have come down to zero. First we sealed Kot Hathial where 22 cases of COVID-19 were reported. Then in Shah Allah Ditta 30 zaireen were tested positive and we sealed that area too for 15 days and today there are zero cases.
About the G-9 sector he said seven days ago when we sealed the sector daily average cases were 28 to 29 but now the ratio has gone down to 7 to 8 cases, said Hamza Shafqaat insisting lockdown is the most effective way to cut down virus spread. We are going to seal some areas of G-8, G-7, 6 and 10 too on the same pattern, said the deputy commissioner adding Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) is under enormous strain due to the overwhelming number of patients arriving there.
Islamabad on Tuesday witnessed 11,219 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 106 deaths, meaning thereby in the last 24 hours, 307 new cases were reported and five deaths. On Monday the numbers were 10,912 and 101 respectively.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Islamabad is higher than even Balochistan’s coronavirus cases where 9,587 cases have been reported so far with 104 deaths. “The catchment area of Islamabad’s health sector expands to KP and even patients from Kabul, ex-Fata and AJK arrive at the PIMS that was actually meant for a population of 700,000 to 800,000 population,” said the DC. Now Islamabad’s population is 22 million besides patients from other cities and towns also come to PIMS for treatment and under the present circumstances the hospital has exhausted its existing capacity of 75 beds and 26 ventilators.
However, the DC said the hospital is enhancing its beds capacity of critical care units from 75 to 200 and that will be sufficient for the next month. In the meanwhile, we shall be having a hospital of infectious diseases adjacent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) with 250 beds capacity. The hospital will be functional within 45 days, he said. However, he was of the view that putting undue load on our health infrastructure is not advisable. We need to reduce load on our health sector so that lives could be saved.