COVID Watch

Virus May Have Spread In China In August

A Harvard Medical School research has suggested the novel coronavirus may have emerged in Wuhan, China, as early as August based on increased symptom search data and hospital traffic preceding the discovery of the virus in the Huanan wet market in the South China province. While China’s center for disease control (CDC) had officially announced a “pneumonia-like virus” on December 31, 2019, early reports claimed that the disease was detected as early as October 2019. The Harvard study has been disregarded by Beijing as baseless.

Sindh On Fast-Track To Recovery

Advisor to Chief Minister of Sindh on information, Murtaza Wahab, stated on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, stated that 750 people in Sindh were declared virus-free in the past 24 hours. Sindh currently boasts the highest number of recoveries at 19,896 (48% of its total cases), mainly among those in self-quarantine. Murtaza Wahab further urged to the public to remain indoors and wear masks and advised that senior citizens and children should remain at home.

PPE Exports Allowed

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) of the National Coordination Committee body approved the export of seven items classified as personal protective equipment (PPE), including disposable gowns, gloves, face shields, goggles, hand sanitizers, shoe covers and waste bags. However, the ban on the export of N95 masks and Tyvek suits has been maintained.

Islamabad, Rawalpindi Run Out Of Beds

Patients are reportedly being turned away due to lack of beds, ventilators and available doctors in public and private hospitals in the twin cities as cases continue to surge unabated. Meanwhile, the government scrambles to add 765 new beds and recruit 42 new doctors to four overburdened public hospitals in Rawalpindi.

Karachi’s Home Testing Service Suspended

Doorstep testing facilities in south Karachi have been suspended indefinitely due to a variety of obstacles. 25 health department officials managed to contract the virus, leaving very few personnel to take samples of isolated suspected patients. Meanwhile, samples of 1,500 suspected patients have been frozen due to a technical fault rendering two polymerase chain reaction machines at a private hospital temporarily unusable, creating a massive backlog.

Governor House Employees Test Positive

10 of 133 employees at the Governor House in Punjab tested for COVID-19 were diagnosed positive on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar tested negative. On the other hand, Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid has announced that a strict lockdown will be enforced in high-risk, highly infected areas across the province. Lahore has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot with nearly 28,000 of the province’s total 42,360 cases.