No system can cope if COVID-19 spreads rapidly, warns Pakistan minister


ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar warned on Friday that next few weeks are critical for the country as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the country.

In a series of tweets, the head of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said: “No system can cope if we allow the disease to spread rapidly”.

“However, the challenge is not over and in fact is continuing to increase. The need for precautions and following sop’s is vital at this point in time,” Umar said.

Saying total number of critical care Covid patients on oxygen reached 5360 yesterday, he said that this is 57% more than the peak Pakistan saw last June.

“Alhamdulillah have so far managed to cope with this huge increase because of proactively building capacity of the entire system from oxygen production to beds,” he added.

Total oxygen production operational capacity in Pakistan last year was 487 tons/day and it has now been increased to 798 tons, the minister highlighted

“We also imported 19,200 oxygen cylinders last year to ensure distribution,” he said

He said that the federal government had 2,811 oxygen beds all over Pakistan last year, adding that the province also enhanced the capacity.

“Hence despite there being more than 2,000 additional covid patients on oxygen vs last jun peak you have not seen the kind tight supply situation we saw last jun (e),” he wrote.

He said that the NCOC had also allowed the import of 6,000 tons oxygen, 5,000 cylinders and 20 cryogenic tanks.

“It is this proactive decision making which has with Allah’s blessings help us avoid the kind of scenes being witnessed in some other countries,” he added.

On Friday, Pakistan reported 131 more deaths due to coronavirus infection across the country during the last twenty-four hours.

According to latest statistics issued by the National Command and Operation Center, 5,112 new positive cases were reported in the country after conducting the tests of 49,099 people during the same period.

The positivity ratio remained 10.41%.

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