COVID Watch | 27th October 2020

773 contract the novel coronavirus disease in the past 24 hours; 71 PIMS doctors, nurses and staff members were diagnosed COVID-19 positive in the past 30 days; three departments of the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad sealed over emergence of cases; study finds COVID-19 restrictions disrupted healthcare facilities for TB and HIV patients in Pakistan.


Recoveries fall as 773 cases emerge

773 fresh infections were detected in the past 24 hours (Monday, October 26), bringing the daily positivity rate to 2.85%. Meanwhile, the recovery dropped to 94.6% as 365 managed to beat the coronavirus in the same timeframe. In a positive development, the death rate also fell slightly from 2.1% in the past few months to 2%. Six more succumbed COVID-19 yesterday, with the Islamabad Capital Territory, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan reporting one fatality each.

71 PIMS staffers infected in past month

71 healthcare workers at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad contracted the novel coronavirus disease in the past thirty days, of which 54 were doctors (majority of whom are young and in training), ten nurses and seven non-medical staff members. The infected healthcare workers were assigned to the cardiac and dialysis centres, and the urology, surgical, emergency, blood bank and medical wards, and were quarantined upon contracting the virus.

Three QAU departments sealed over cases

The chemistry, biochemistry and bachelors in business administration departments of the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad were sealed on Monday after cases emerged. According to the District Health Officer, the departments will remain closed for five days for disinfection upon detection of more than two cases, according to standard operating procedures (SOPs)

TB, HIV patients impacted by virus restrictions

A survey conducted by a team of local and international researchers revealed that COVID-19 restrictions disrupted healthcare services for patients of tuberculosis (TB) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These restrictions included fear of contracting the virus, suspension of transport services and restrictions on movement, and loss of income.

The study was held from May to August, and included responses from 669 TB and HIV doctors, nurses, community healthcare workers, lawmakers, lab technicians, health facility managers and researchers. Of the answers received, 40% said it was much more difficult or impossible for TB and HIV patients to access healthcare facilities due to COVID-19 restrictions, while 37% stated it was much more difficult or impossible for TB healthcare providers to reach their workplace.