Delta variant predominantly responsible for 4th wave

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Dr Yasmin says wide majority of hospitalized patient are unvaccinated

Staff Reporter

Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said here on Tuesday that there has been a steady rise in Covid-19 cases related to Delta variant in the fourth wave.

“Delta variant has far much faster transmission rate than other variants and Punjab is mostly reporting fast increase in cases of this variant recently.”

Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid was speaking at a press conference held at Chief Minister Secretariat at 90-Shahra-i-Quaid-i-Azam on Tuesday.

Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Sarah Aslam, Additional Secretary Development Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Dr Asif Tufail, Ahmer Khan, Prof Javed Chaudhry and a large number of media representatives were present on the occasion.

The Health Minister said that Punjab has reported 967 cases in the last 24 hours and 40 people have lost their lives.

She said more than 20,000 tests were performed in the last 24 hours and there was an increase in test to positivity ratio.

The ratio was 14% in Attock, 13 % in Dera Ghazi Khan, 11% in Jhang, 9% in Narowal, Sargodha and Rawalpindi, 8% in Layyah, Lahore, Gujrat and Lodhran.

She said there was a considerable decline in this ratio a month back but suddenly there has been a spike and mega cities are reporting bigger increase.

As per statistics of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, as many as 193 patients are under treatment at 2,918 beds reserved for Covid-19 patients. She said 170 ventilators have been reserved at DHQs and THQs hospitals.

“We are appealing people to follow SOPs during Ashura-e-Muharram. Even our religion says that people must avoid travelling to places having epidemics. There are restrictions on all kinds of public gatherings.

We all must take care of our own and other’s health and our own safety is more important than anything else. There are restrictions placed on commercial activities and banquet halls have been allowed to hold events within limit of a certain number.

Cinemas are completely closed and govt offices are allowed to operate with 50% staff. Transport is allowed with 50% capacity and smart lockdowns are being further enforced in cities reporting more cases.

I appeal people to wear masks and we have seen very good outcome as a result of measures in Lahore enforced through Commissioner office. An awareness campaign is also being run in the province and SOPs are being enforced.

We can overcome the Pandemic by vaccinating 70 to 80% people of over 18 years of age and then we can return to opening of businesses.

COVID-19 has affected the vaccinated people much less than the unvaccinated people. So far we have vaccinated 23.5 million people in Punjab and there is adequate vaccine stock available. Vaccine supply is coming uninterrupted from the Federal Government and currently there are over 300,00 doses available.

We are trying to vaccinate maximum number of people and the target of vaccination till 14th August has been achieved a great deal.

We are vaccinating more than 500,000 people per day, capacity will be enhanced after Muharram days and vaccination centres will remain open during Muharram.

Punjab has vaccinated more than 26% people of over 18 years age group, 47% in over 40 category, 50% of over 50 years of age, 63% of over 60 years of age, and 45% of over 70 years of age group.

Out of population of over 60 million in 18 years & above category, we have a set a target of vaccinating at least 40 to 45 million people.

Home vaccination pace has been increased and Rawalpindi is ahead of other cities as far as vaccination is concerned. In Faisalabad 26 %, in Gujranwala and Lahore 37%, in Multan 32% and in Gujrat 45 % people have been vaccinated.

The vaccination facility is available at 27 large hospitals as well and South Punjab is reporting rise in the number of vaccinated people.”

Elaborating further, the Health Minister said that during the first three waves, Punjab has faced issue of Oxygen supply and this issue has been specifically focused.

She said, “The Federal Government has provided 11 Oxygen generators which have huge capacity.

Based on the number of patients, all Teaching Hospitals including Mayo and Ganga Ram have been given Oxygen generators.

Besides, Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Gujrat, Bahawalpur and Sahiwal have also been given Oxygen generators.

The Federal Government has conveyed that more Oxygen generators shall be given to us as well. The Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology already has a Generator installed.

Overall the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department and Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education have spent over Rs. 10 billion and the audit of that amount is underway currently.

Overall arrangements of beds, medicines are supply is available in all hospitals. Private Sector Teaching Hospitals have reserved 350 beds and 116 ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

We have a separate cover of 350 oxygenated beds at Expo Center as well. I want to assure people through this press conference that they need not worry over arrangements.

People can call Corona emergency helpline 0304 111781 and Corona Control Room 042 99211135 for any information.

Vaccination is the most effective way of controlling the Pandemic. Out of all patients admitted in hospitals, 88% are unvaccinated.

In the remaining 12 %, fully vaccinated people are 7% and 5% have received first dose. Among 37 patients currently put on ventilators, 36 % are unvaccinated.

These figures are self explanatory as to Corona virus lethality against vaccinated and unvaccinated people. After Moharram days, we will start campaign at Union Council level so that more and more people are vaccinated and the test to positivity ratio is brought down.

The only route to returning to normal working is more and more vaccination. Vaccinated people must not think that they no longer need to follow SOPs. Vaccination is most effective in saving people from getting critically ill.”

 

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