COVID Watch | October 6th 2020

-Minister for Planning Asad Umar terms banquet halls & restaurants virus hubs for failing to follow SOPs -KMC & its 4 hostels in Peshawar, 6 primary schools in Tharparkar sealed due to emerging cases


Banquet halls and restaurants termed ‘virus hubs’

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar stated that banquet halls and restaurants were becoming virus hubs during a meeting at the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) on Monday, October 5. He lamented that the increase in cases could be remedied if the implementation of SOPs is ensured, as there is evidence to suggest that the virus is spreading quickly as people forgo wearing masks and using hand sanitizers. Banquet halls and restaurants will be monitored over the next few weeks before any decision regarding reinstating the ban on gatherings in these places may be taken.

Schools continue to close down as cases emerge

Six primary schools in Balhari, Bityario, Chherpal, Harbosar, and Mir Waqar Talpur Yar Mohammad Otho villages in Tharparkar, Sindh were sealed on Monday, October 5, by the education department after six teachers tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease. The infected individuals have been isolated while the test results of others are awaited. However, villagers demanded that healthy substitute teachers should be brought in so that there is no delay in their children’s education.

The Khyber Medical College (KMC) and four of its hostels in Peshawar were sealed for two weeks after COVID-19 was confirmed to have infected six female students on Saturday, October 3. The administration had initially closed its sole girls’ hostel after six resident students tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, but then made the decision to close its remaining three boys’ hostels after screening 500 or so students, for which the results have yet to arrive. The affiliated Khyber Teaching Hospital will remain open.

Four people contracted the virus in educational institutions in Rawalpindi between October 3 and October 5, prompting the district administration to take the decision to sell any institution where three or more cases are detected in a day.

In Sindh, it was found that the Evaluation and Monitoring Department that many schools across Sindh were not following the government-mandated SOPs. Around 2,108 schools were evaluated, of which 46 were sealed for violating health guidelines, including failing to provide hand sanitizers and maintaining cleanliness in classrooms and washrooms. Around 64,000 samples of students, teachers, and staff members were collected over the course of 20 days, from which 380 tested positive while the results of 54,000 are still awaited. Most of the cases were found in educational institutions in Karachi.

Coronavirus situation update

With 780 beating the virus, total recoveries crossed the 300,000 milestones on Monday, October 5, raising the recovery rate slightly to 95.2%.

Out of 28,280 samples collected in the same timeframe, 467 were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 with a detection rate of 1.65%, adding up to 8,588 active cases. Six succumbed to the virus, with Punjab reporting half the fatalities, followed by Sindh with two fatalities while only one was reported in the Islamabad Capital Territory.