COVID Watch | 22nd October 2020

8,272 healthcare workers infected by COVID-19 till date, including 5,046 doctors and 927 nurses; Lahore police steps up coronavirus SOPs at police stations amidst fears of a second wave; NCOC warns of reinstating a country-wide lockdown if people continue to flout SOPs; three educational institutions in Islamabad and one school in Lahore sealed over infections among students.


8,000 healthcare workers infected till date

According to the ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, 8,272 healthcare professionals in Pakistan have been infected by the novel coronavirus disease till date, out of which 87 have lost their lives, 7,902 have recovered while the rest are either undergoing treatment or have self-isolated. Since the outbreak in March, 5,046 doctor and 927 nurses were infected. Sindh reported the highest number of COVID-19 deaths among healthcare professionals (34), followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) with 21 deaths.

Police on alert for second COVID-19 wave

According to the Lahore DIG Operations Ashfaq Ahmad Khan, the city police is taking all the necessary measures to prevent the outbreak of a second wave. Police personnel sans masks are barred from entering police stations across Lahore, while the entry of complainants is also being monitored as everyone is provided masks and their body temperature is also checked upon entry. SP Headquarters Jamil Zafar has said that those other than the police personnel are required to walk through sanitizer gates to ensure safety from the upcoming second wave of the COVID-19 virus.

NCOC warns of reinstating country-wide lockdown

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued a warning on October 22 that if people did not adhere to SOPs strictly, there would be recourse other than to shut down businesses once again. Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, termed the next two weeks crucial, as everyone should try and collectively make the effort to reduce cases by following SOPs.

He also added that Pakistan was praised by the world for managing to control the deadly virus, and how this should be maintained. Prime Minister Imran Khan had devised a comprehensive strategy to monitor the spread of the disease by imposing lockdowns, however, once the restrictions were eased, people immediately stopped following any SOPs.

Schools sealed in Islamabad and Punjab as cases emerge

According to the Ministry for Federal Education, two private institutions and the Model College for Girls in I-10 in Islamabad were closed after the emergence of infections among students. Institutions are being closed regularly, and open days later after having been disinfected – till date, about 100 cases have been detected via randomized testing on campuses in the capital.

Separately, a private school in Gulberg Lahore, the Lahore Grammar School 55 Main was closed by the school administration after three students emerged COVID-19 positive. According to the letter from LGS, these three girls were physically not present at school for the past seven days, however, out of extra precaution the school will remain closed for two weeks till November 2. For the duration of the closure, students will be instructed online.