COVID Watch | 28th October 2020

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan confirms second wave has begun in Pakistan; International Islamic University, Islamabad (IUI) temporarily closed as student tests positive for COVID-19; fourth grader in government school in Toba Tek Singh diagnosed positive for coronavirus.


Second wave confirmed in Pakistan

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan announced during a press briefing on Tuesday, October 27, that the second wave has begun in Pakistan. Around 700 to 750 fresh coronavirus cases are being reported on a daily basis, compared to just 200 to 300 some weeks ago, he noted, pointing out that the daily case positivity rate has also been on a steady incline and may surpass 3% soon.

The SAPM informed that strict implementation of SOPs and health protocols will commence on the local level in districts that are badly hit by the pandemic. While currently the government is still mulling restrictions, district administrators have been advised to fine public transport services, wedding halls, restaurants and other public gatherings to discourage people from congregating and continuing to further transmit COVID-19.

Moreover, businesses will be issued a window during which they will be allowed to operate. Meanwhile the government is devising a platform to receive and register complaints from citizens regarding SOP violations and other concerns.

On October 15, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives and Chair of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) Asad Umar tweeted that the government may be forced to take ‘restrictive actions’ which may affect the livelihood of people if the infection continued to spread due to people’s negligence of adhering to SOPs.

Two students test positive for virus

The International Islamic University of Islamabad (IIUI) will be sealed on Thursday October 29 to November 2 for disinfection, after a student tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease. While the patient has gone into self-isolation, the university requested all those who came into contact with the student to quarantine. Students residing in hostels have been advised to limit their movements and avoid gatherings while the university administration mulls vacating hostels.

Meanwhile, a fourth-grader at the Government Primary School Chak 691/33-GB in Pir Mahal tehsil of Toba Tek Singh district, Punjab, during randomized testing by district authorities on campuses in the area. The sample of the infected student has collected some three days ago and returned positive on Tuesday. The parents of the student claim that he did not display any symptoms, such as cough or fever recently.

COVID-19 situation update

Daily case positivity rate was 2.8% on Tuesday as a total of 825 fresh cases emerged across the country, while on the other hand the recovery rate dropped further to 94.4% from 94.6% on Monday, October 26. 374 patients managed to beat COVID-19, however fourteen succumbed it. Punjab reported the most deaths (six) while Sindh followed with 5 fatalities. One fatality each was reported in the Islamabad Capital Territory, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.