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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pakistan coronavirus recoveries increase to 37%

Pakistan reported an increase in coronavirus recoveries at 37%, with more than 2,100 people being discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours. However, with an increase in recoveries has come a growing surge of infections as people refuse to follow SOPs and lockdowns are not implemented.

Pakistan recorded 37% recoveries of COVID-19 patients after more than 2,100 people were discharged from hospitals over the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

Pakistan has conducted over 1.01 million tests to date, the report said.

Increase in Pakistan’s coronavirus recoveries and infections

According to the ministry’s daily report, recoveries increased by 2,161 to 61,383, while overall cases reached 165,062 with 4,944 new additions.

A total of 136 fatalities – the country’s highest daily figure also recorded on Wednesday – took the death toll to 3,229.

The report showed the mortality rate for critical cases has risen slightly to 2% from 1.9%.

Ease in lockdown led to surge of coronavirus cases in Pakistan

The World Health Organization has told Pakistan it should implement “intermittent” lockdowns to counter a surge in coronavirus infections that has come as the country loosens restrictions, officials said. Pakistan’s lockdown has been lifted due to the government believing that this is what is most equitable for all strata of society.

Read more: Pakistan lockdown lifted: WHO warns that it must be reinstated

Since the start of Pakistan’s outbreak in March, Prime Minister Imran Khan opposed a nationwide lockdown of the sort seen elsewhere, arguing the impoverished country could not afford it.

Pakistan lifted its lockdown on May 9, about two weeks before the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and is celebrated with family gatherings and feasting. Transport and most businesses have re-opened but cinemas, theatres and schools remain closed.

“As of today, Pakistan does not meet any of the pre-requisite conditions for opening the lockdown”, the WHO said in a letter confirmed by Pakistan officials.

Pakistan’s planning minister warned that the number of coronavirus cases in the country could double by the end of June and peak at more than a million infections just a month later.

The warning from planning minister Asad Umar comes as many in the country continue to ignore guidance on social distancing, hygiene and other measures to tackle the disease.

Pakistan to impose smart lockdown

The head of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Asad Umar appealed on Thursday that the nationals must strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) against coronavirus formulated by the government, local media reported. The government believes that the smart lockdown only way to curb spread of coronavirus.

Read more: Is ‘smart lockdown’ only way to curb spread of coronavirus?

The Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside information minister Senator Shibli Faraz, said that the authorities were implementing smart lockdown measures across the country.

The statistics collected with the help of modern technology were forwarded to all provinces and relevant steps will be taken within two days. “The federal government is working with provinces for enhancing healthcare facilities on a priority basis. It is important to ensure uninterrupted oxygen supplies to the hospitals besides increasing the number of beds [for the COVID-19 patients],” he said.

Dexamethasone to treat coronavirus?

Earlier this week, Pakistan announced it was considering using dexamethasone to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Researchers in the UK announced a day earlier that dexamethasone — a cheap and widely available drug — cuts the risk of death in severely ill coronavirus patients, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has hailed it as a “lifesaving breakthrough.”

The WHO said dexamethasone had reduced mortality by about one third for patients on ventilators, and by about one fifth for patients requiring only oxygen, referring to preliminary findings of research conducted at Oxford University.

“This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“This is great news and I congratulate the Government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.”

Read more: Pakistan to use dexamethasone to treat coronavirus

Researchers led by a team from the University of Oxford administered the drug, dexamethasone, to more than 2,000 severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Among those who could only breathe with the help of a ventilator, it reduced deaths by 35 percent.

Mirza clarified that the medicine is only to be used for critically ill COVID-19 patients who are on ventilators or need oxygen.

“The medicine MUST NOT be used by mild to moderate patients; self-medication is strictly prohibited and can be dangerous as the medicine has many side-effects,” he warned.

Zafar Mirza, special assistant to the prime minister on health, said the country had ample supply of the cheap steroid, which UK researchers have found reduces deaths by about one-third in patients on ventilators and one-fifth in patients who require oxygen.

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