Govt to import 6,000 tonnes of oxygen: Asad


Critical care patients 57pc more than June last year

Staff Reporter

National Command and Operations Centre chief Asad Umar said on Friday that the federal government is set to import 6,000 tonnes of oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks in a bid to build Pakistan’s capacity as a third Covid-19 wave rages on in the country.

This was decided during the NCOC meeting, Umar wrote on his official Twitter account.

According to the NCOC chief, it was this kind of “proactive decision making” that helped Pakistan “avoid the kind of scenes being witnessed in some other countries”.

Umar further revealed that the total number of critical care Covid patients on oxygen reached 5,360 on Thursday – 57% more than June last year, when the country last witnessed a peak in cases.

However, Pakistan has so far managed to cope with this current surge due to proactively building capacity of the entire system, from oxygen production to beds, the NCOC chief maintained.

“Total oxygen production operational capacity in Pakistan last year was 487 tonnes/day. It has been increased to 798 tonnes,” he wrote.

In view of the fast deteriorating situation, arising out of the increasing number of coronavirus cases and deaths, the authorities have decided to impose a complete lockdown in Lahore on Saturday (May 1) and Sunday (May 2).

According to the directives issued by Commissioner Lahore Captain (retd) Muhammad Usman, all businesses and markets will remain completely closed on these two days barring medical stores, petrol pumps, vaccination centers, fruit, vegetable and meat shops.

Captain (r) Usman said there will be a complete ban on all kinds of inter-provincial transport

. Meanwhile, another 131 people lost their lives to coronavirus whereas 5,112 fresh cases were reported during the last 24 hours, showed the data released by the Ministry of National Health Services on Friday morning.

According to the latest figures, after the addition of 131 new deaths the toll has now surged to 17,811 while the number of confirmed cases stood at 820,823, after adding 5,112 new infections.

As of Friday, the total count of active cases was recorded at 91,574 and the positivity rate recorded at 10.04 percent.