Second wave at June-like situation
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan stated that the current juncture of the second wave of the pandemic is parallel to how it was during June peak levels during an online seminar on reinforcing COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) on Wednesday, December 16.
An all-time high of 153 deaths was recorded on June 19, while over 100 new deaths were reported for the first time on June 8. Yesterday, 105 succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease, pushing the national death toll over 9,000. The SAPM further warned that the burden on government and private hospitals was increasing as compared to the first wave where severe restrictions kept the virus from spreading to other areas, there are increasing reports of infections in previously untouched regions.
In a media briefing at the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), Dr. Faisal Sultan further mentioned that COVID-19 vaccine doses will be available free of cost for the general populace by next year.
Seven Peshawar localities under smart lockdown
The Peshawar district administration will impose smart lockdowns in seven localities in the provincial capital from 6PM onwards today. These areas include:
- Aslam Dheri Pajjagai Road
- Gulshan Rehman Colony
- Hazrat Jan Road
- Kanda Raza Khan Road
- Larama, Charsadda Road
- Malik Shafique Colony, Nauthia Qadeem
- Mattani village
- Streets 6 to 12 in Sector f-8, Hayatabad Phase VI
Per the notification issued by Peshawar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Asghar on Wednesday, all gatherings and congregations of more than five people will be banned. Controlled entry and exit points will be established for the restricted areas, with only essential services such as deliveries permitted to pass through. All other non-essential services and businesses will remain closed. Moreover, anyone found to be in violation of these restrictions will be penalized with fines and/or imprisonment under sections 17 and 18 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Epidemic Contol and Emergency Relief Act 2020, and section 33 of the National Disaster Management Act 2010.
No evidence of reinfection in Punjab
Although there have been some accounts of COVID-19 reinfections in other countries, there is no definite proof of any such cases in the Punjab province till date, clarified the Corona Experts Advisory Group (CEAG). Moreover, although Pakistan is now standing at the same level as the first wave peak in June in terms of deaths, the case positivity rate for the second wave is markedly lower by the same comparison.