COVID Watch | 21st April 2020


Asymptomatic Cases Increasing

Emerging research suggests more people are testing positive for COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms, raising concerns of ending lockdown amidst the prevalence of invisible carriers potentially continuing to spread the virus to others. However, an increasing number of asymptomatic individuals also raises hope that the virus is not as deadly as it seems.

Coronavirus research is currently hampered by the lack of reliable data due to inadequate measuring tools and widespread misinformation. However, scientists estimate that a vaccine may be developed within a year.

Clerics Assure Cooperation

Religious leaders and clerics declared support for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s lockdown policy, promising cooperation and strict adherence to a 20-point SOP devised by the government.

On April 14, a gathering of Pakistan’s top clerics and leaders of religious parties unanimously announced their rejection of lockdown restrictions, and declared mosques will remain open for daily and Friday congregational prayers, we well as Taraweeh prayers. Following the announcement, in a meeting with clerical leaders, the PM announced mosques were exempted from lockdown restrictions, however, he asserted that strict action would be carried out against those who violate the government’s SOPs.

Suspected Patient Attempts Suicide

A suspected COVID-19 patient quarantined in a hospital in Kotri, Jamshoro was prevented from taking his own life by security personnel. The patient, an employee of the Peoples Primary Healthcare Initiative, was troubled by work. According to reports, the patient had taken leave on medical grounds, however, his superior, a district health officer (DHO), believed the patient was faking illness to shirk his duties and threatened to lay him off if he tested negative for the virus.

The patient attempted to hang himself from a ceiling fang using hospital linens as a makeshift noose. However, on-duty security was able to intervene in time. The security guard was not wearing any protective gear during the rescue.