COVID Watch | 27th June 2020


Not a Complete Lockdown in Lahore

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Danish Afzal rejects the possibility of a complete lockdown in Lahore, reiterating that only hotspot areas will be restricted for a limited number of days as determined by the government. With 32 localities currently under lockdown in Lahore, the DC noted that there has been a significant decline in infections in the sealed parts of the city, indicating the success of partial lockdowns. In lieu of this notable decline in cases, there is no possibility the government is entertaining thoughts of imposing a strict curfew across the entire city.

SOPs May Limit Infections to 225,000

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar stated during a press briefing at the National Command and Operations Center stated that adherence to SOPs may have reduced initial projections of 300,000 infections by the end of June to 225,000. Continued implementation and enforcement of health guidelines will significantly mitigate the spread of the virus in the long term.

New Cases in Islamabad in Decline

Daily cases in Islamabad have not crossed the 400 mark since June 15 onwards, with the highest number of infections in the past week hitting 383 on June 20. 225 confirmed cases and 2 fatalities were recorded on June 26, however daily testing has also been in steady decline since June 17, which may explain why fewer cases are being detected.

More Critical & Intensive Care Doctors Needed

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) revealed that fewer than 100 critical and intensive care doctors are working to treat COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. At least 5 times as many such intensive and critical healthcare professionals are required given the current and expected coronavirus patient count. The PMA has citied lack of government interest in the healthcare sector prior to the pandemic a major reason for the acute shortage of experienced intensive care doctors in the country.

Sindh Testing in Decline

Sindh’s case positivity ratio sits at 22% as daily testing declines to less than half the province’s claimed capacity of 18,000 tests. 1,150 new cases emerge from 5,103 tests conducted on June 26, while 27 more critical patients succumb to virus in Sindh.

Sindh Nurses Demand Allowance, Regularization

Contractual nurses employed in government hospitals in Sindh stage protest in Thar localities demanding regularization and risk allowance for services rendered in tending to COVID-19 patients. The protestors claimed that they had been offered 3 month extensions rather than promised permanent positions.

Open-Air Jail for SOP Violators

Daska authorities set up a temporary holding “tent” in the tennis court of the Civil Rest House for citizens caught flouting SOPs, especially those failing to wear masks in public spaces. Due to overcrowding in existing facilities and lack of proper ventilation, the makeshift cell was set up inside the fenced tennis court where offenders are held for up to a day. The “jail” comes equipped with water coolers to keep the detainees cool in the soaring heat. Officials however state that penalties will increase in severity for repeat offences, and as SOPs are regularized.