COVID Watch | 16th April 2020


WHO to Aid Research

WHO-approved Getz-Pharma to collaborate with the University of Health & Sciences in Lahore to speed up research on possible COVID-19 treatment, including the viability of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in mitigating coronavirus symptoms. The drug manufacturer also donated 15,000 testing kits to the Sindh Government and disbursed 1,500 personal protective equipment (PPE) to 50 treatment centers, isolation wards, quarantine centers and hospitals in Sindh.

Home Isolation Cases Rise

A growing number of coronavirus cases are being linked to people opting for home isolation rather than being admitted to isolation wards, warn experts. Asymptomatic patients or patients with mild symptoms are being told to return home where they do not practice the necessary precautions, and spread the virus to family members, increasing the rate of local transmissions. Experts suggest all suspected patients should be admitted to isolation centers and quarantine facilities, and urge up-scaling and improving accommodations at such centers so that patients are less resistant to being quarantined at facilities.

Patients Test Positive Again

3 patients at the Arija campus of the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University in Larkana tested positive again after completing their quarantine period. Meanwhile, 5 others tested negative and were discharged. A patient in Karachi who was discharged after completing treatment for COVID-19 rebounded and was shifted to a quarantine center in Hyderabad, along with 3 other attendants he was traveling with.

60% Cases Linked to Tablighi Jamaat

According to government estimates, over 20,000 Tablighi Jamaat attendees have been quarantined while 100,000 have yet to be traced. Among the quarantined, over 500 tested positive. Tablighi Jamaat attendees are widely considered responsible for 60% of the total number of local transmissions of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s clergy and religious leaders unanimously declared flouting the ban on gatherings and holding congregational prayers.