Covid-29 toll in Islamabad crosses 200 mark, 129 new cases reported in 24 hours Health Ministry urged to distribute masks free of cost at public places

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Zubair Qureshi

The Federal Capital on Thursday reported a total of 18,438 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 201 deaths with 129 infections and three deaths recorded during the last 24 hours.
With three casualties in one day the number of deaths in Islamabad has gone beyond 200 and this gives the authorities quite a big reason to feel concerned.
The recovered cases so far in Islamabad are reported to be 16,970 and according to the District Health Officer (DHO) of Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia, the recovery rate in the city is still 92%. The death rate is 1.09% and positivity remains 2.9%.
Meanwhile, briefing a Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said gatherings are the main cause of the spread of Covid-19.
Dr Sultan claimed that educational institutions were following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to limit the spread of Covid-19.
The Senate committee headed by PPP Senator Sikandar Mandhro, recommended that the Ministry of NHS should take measures to ensure masks are available to the public for free. If this is not possible at least it should take steps to ensure their affordability.
The committee was discussing a matter of public importance raised by PTI Senator Zeeshan Khanzada titled ‘Outbreak of Coronavirus and Precautionary Measures in Pakistan’, which was referred to the committee for consideration.
The NHS ministry informed senators that Covid-19 cases have risen by 2.4pc which, while not alarming, must be taken seriously. Dr Sultan said the provinces should take stringent measures to ensure Covid-19 SOP is implemented. The committee disposed of the matter with a recommendation to provide the best possible relief to the public.
Regarding a vaccine for Covid-19, Dr Sultan said that if and when a vaccine is available Pakistan will prioritize subsets of the population first, such as people who are high risk or are frontline workers.
“We have to carefully allocate resources for vaccination as Pakistan does not have sufficient resources to invest in all the global vaccination efforts. The advantage Pakistan has is that our polio vaccination teams can quickly and efficiently inoculate the population, though unlike polio, it will not be a simultaneous, mass effort,” he said.

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