Covid-19 curve flattening yet authorities fear resurgence of virus during Eid Islamabad reports 50 cases, no death during last 24 hours

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Zubair Qureshi

The federal capital on Saturday reported 50 new cases—first time in two months—and no death during the last twenty four hours and the curve of Covid-19 has almost flattened.
The federal capital’s total tally of positive cases is 14,50 while deaths caused so far are 157. The numbers of recoveries are at 11,708, according to the health ministry’s portal.
However despite these promising signs, a high-alert has been declared at Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital for a period of two months fearing resurgence of the virus during the upcoming Eidul Azha (this month) and Moharram-ul-Haram (next month).
The hospital will remain on high alert from July 20 (tomorrow) to Sept 20, during which time staff leave will be cancelled and even protests have been banned.
An X-ray laboratory has also been established at the hospital’s filter clinic, where suspected Covid-19 patients will be tested, X-rayed and their reports be given to them so that they do not have to enter the hospital itself.
According to a circular, an “extraordinary surge” in the number of Covid-19 cases is anticipated in the wake of imminent crowding in makeshift cattle markets and Eidul Azha congregations in the coming weeks, followed by Muharram processions in early Septem-
ber.
“It is circulated for the compliance of all concerned that a ‘high alert’ status may be maintained for emergency care and treatment of Covid-19 patients besides other emergency cases reaching Pims for a period of two months starting 20th July till 20th of September, 2020,” says the circular.
Pharmacy staff has also been directed to “maintain supplies of drugs/medicines, personal protective equipments (PPEs) and related articles in abundance, in stores.”
“The hospital staff will not be allowed long leaves during this period. It is further clarified that agitations, protests, processions and trade union activities by healthcare workers for political/personal issues are illegal, irrational, unethical and must be avoided, more specifically during the pandemic,” the circular said. Meanwhile, according to a survey, around 300,000 persons have been infected with the novel coronavirus in Islamabad after which the city may be inching towards achieving “herd immunity.” The study shows that a vast majority of the individuals exposed to the virus are asymptomatic, that is they are generally not showing symptoms of Covid-19 even after being infected with the dreaded virus.

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