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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Is Pakistan facing a second wave of COVID-19?

As the district administration in Naran has sealed off hotels to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are speculations about the rise of a second wave. The data released by the government of Pakistan offers a contrary picture. But the pertinent question remains at the heart of the discussion; is COVID-19 threat over?

Five hotels at the top tourist hot-spots of the country, Naran and Kaghan, have been sealed after some of the hotels’ staffers in the area have tested positive for Coronavirus. Experts are once again mulling over if the Coronavirus has been controlled in Pakistan. There are speculations that a second wave of COVID-19 is just on the way.

According to the local authorities, there is currently no ban on tourists visiting Naran and Kaghan as some hotels have been reopened after a brief closure. “Some of the hotel staffers in Naran and Kaghan contracted coronavirus,” the administration said and added that they have opened up the tourist spots after disinfecting the hotels.

They said that complete implementation upon coronavirus precautionary measures have been taken to avoid any spread of the virus. We have currently imposed smart lockdown in five hotels of Naran and Kaghan, the authorities said.

Speaking over the development, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on Information Kamran Bangash said that the provincial government was not mulling over any restrictions on tourists spots in the province. “Kaghan Development Authority and local administration have collected samples from seven hotels that showed traces of coronavirus in their staffers,” he said adding that all seven hotels were shut under smart lockdown restrictions.

Read More: After successfully containing COVID-19, Pakistan goes for smart lockdown

It is pertinent to mention here that on August 08, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) directed the provinces to devise guidelines for managing tourism to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Directives were given in the NCOC meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in Islamabad on Saturday.

Second wave of COVID-19 or Corona is under control?

Pakistan reported 496 new coronavirus cases and nine deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the number of confirmed infections in the country to 293,261 and fatalities to 6,244.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 23,655 samples were tested for Covid-19 during this period, resulting in the emergence of 496 new cases. Of the total confirmed cases, 276,829 patients have recuperated from the disease, thereby bringing the number of active cases of the virus down to 10,188.

A total of 1,163 patients are under treatment at 735 hospitals across the country, 115 of whom are struggling for their lives on ventilators. More than 2.4 million tests have been conducted thus far.

Earlier on Aug 23, the Punjab government had imposed “micro smart lockdown” in small neighbourhoods of three cities for a period of fourteen days to prevent the spread of deadly coronavirus that has affected over 96,000 people and killed 2,188 across the province.

The cities where localities were sealed include Lahore, Rawalpindi and Gujranwala. More than a dozen areas have been locked down in these cities, including Lahore’s twelve areas that reported 28 cases of late. As many as 19,538 residents of the provincial capital will be under lockdown.

Read More: How COVID-19 exposed a vulnerable education system in Pakistan

Rawalpindi’s three areas with a population of 947 people have been sealed after they reported seven coronavirus cases while two localities have been locked down in Gujranwala where 53 locals will be under lockdown.

The authorities are now expected to be more vigilant and make sure that the cases remain under control as the educational institutions are reportedly to be reopened from September 15. Negligence or the slightest error of judgement may lead to a serious health crisis. Therefore, to contain the second wave of COVID-19, from NCOC to the district administration, everyone must be on board, experts suggest.