Lahore has reported 50 cases of COVID-19 delta variant, posing a serious threat.
The study has concerned health officials, who have discovered that over 70% of illnesses recorded in Lahore are of the delta type. The delta version of SARS-CoV-2, according to scientists, is a more transmissible strain of the virus, which has already spread to 77 countries. They warn that it spreads quickly and presents a significant danger to individuals who have not been vaccinated or have just been partly inoculated.
On the condition of anonymity, a top health department official informed Dawn that the virus spread 100 times quicker than the previous three Covid-19 outbreaks in Punjab.
He claimed health specialists processed a batch of 26 samples a few days ago at the reference lab of Punjab’s Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, according to official statistics. According to him, 13 Covid-19 samples tested positive for delta virus, accounting for a 50% ratio. They also submitted another batch of 22 samples for examination, 14 of which were identified as the same variation that had caused havoc in the neighboring country.
According to the official, 23 additional samples tested positive for delta virus on Friday, indicating an alarmingly high positivity rate. He said that specialists thought the situation may spiral out of control in the coming days owing to the infection’s rapid spread and that Lahore should be placed on lockdown immediately.
They also suggested that the hours for commercial marketplaces, theatres, temples, and other public locations be changed to limit public mobility. The majority of Covid samples were collected from patients who presented with characteristic symptoms of the delta form at state-run teaching hospitals in Lahore, Sialkot, and Chiniot, according to the official.
“We should declare emergency in all the hospitals of the province to meet the new challenge of delta variant,” he said, adding that the health officials also recommended that the government should announce at least 10 official holidays on Eidul Azha to stop further transmission of the highly infectious virus.
In response to a query, the official stated that specialists were analyzing random Covid samples in the lab and that the findings regarding the prevalence of the delta virus in Punjab, particularly in Lahore, were extremely concerning.
Meanwhile, the Punjab health department’s official report on Friday raised additional concerns when the infection’s positive rate in Lahore and Rawalpindi rose to 5.4 percent. This is a high proportion that has been recorded many times in Punjab during the third wave of Covid-19’s peak season during the past three months.
Covid infectivity rates rose to 4 percent in Multan, 3 percent in Bahawalpur, and 1.7 percent in Faisalabad, according to Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary Sara Aslam. Covid cases were rising at an alarming pace in Punjab, she added, emphasizing the need of implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in addition to immunization.
Punjab has recorded 364 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of illnesses to 349,475.
“We have set up 118 mobile vaccination camps at the sites for the sacrificial animals’ sale across Punjab to facilitate the visitors,” she said. She said the health department had expanded the scope of vaccination in order to improve coverage in Punjab.
“We are vaccinating on average 350,000 people daily across the province to achieve the target set by the National Command Operation Centre,” she said. Covid-19 claimed the lives of four more patients in Punjab, taking the toll to 10,856, she said.