COVID Watch | 8th May 2020


Pregnant Women Contract Virus

28 of around 300 expecting mothers who were admitted in the Government Maternity Hospital (GMH) in Gujrat, Punjab, tested positive for the virus. Test results of 200 other soon-to-be mothers awaited while the GMH has been sealed for disinfection. Earlier, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences’ Maternal and Child Healthcare Center and an operation theater in the Children’s Hospital in Islamabad was sealed after 15 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Over 100 Medics Infected

142 healthcare workers, which includes doctors, nurses, paramedics and other hospital staff, tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day on April 7. Till date, 10 healthcare professionals have succumbed to the virus, whereas around 400 have yet to recover. Among them, 259 are in self isolation while 130 are in serious condition and seeking treatment in various hospitals.

1,500 Patients Traced

Central Contact Tracing (CCT) unit of the Punjan’s Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department has managed to trace around 1,500 confirmed COVID-19 patients who had come into contact with Pakistani pilgrims from Iran and Tableeghi Jamaat attendees.

According to officials, around 26,000 contacts of 4,300 confirmed patients were identified and traced, of which 1,500 tested positive and were promptly quarantined. Health department officials said most of these traced individuals were either asymptomatic and, therefore, unaware they were carriers, or had symptoms but were deliberately avoiding being tested.

Punjab Red Zones Restricted

As Punjab readies for a ‘smart lockdown’, Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi remain exceptions as a stricter lockdown will be implement due to these cities being virus hotspots. Lahore alone accounts for nearly 40% of all confirmed cases in the province. While the lockdown will be lifted on May 9, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced that Lahore’s businesses and markets will be reopened under SOPs in place on May 11

3 Sindh Health Units Sealed

3 basic health units (BHUs) in Ratodero, Sindh were sealed after 3 doctors, among whom 2 were women, tested positive for COVID-19. The BHUs in Warisdino Machhi, Lashari and Mehar Buriro were promptly sealed for disinfection and will be operational soon, while test results of 33 other staff members are currently awaited.

Mass Testing A Necessity

Health experts have advised the government to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 as the lockdown eases and people are expected to resume daily activities. They warn that 80% of virus patients are asymptomatic and may spread the virus to others. Due to their repeated warnings going unheard by the government, medics are now urging common citizens to act responsibly and exercise precaution to prevent a second wave of infections.