–Govt extends borders closure for two weeks, week-long ban on outbound flight from 29th
–Punjab leads provincial tally with 557 cases followed by 469 in Sindh
–NDMA chief says over 400 ventilators to arrive by mid-April, govt to hire lab technicians amid shortage
LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s coronavirus tally on Saturday touched 1,415, as the country struggles to contain cases after losing 12 lives to the pandemic since the outbreak in February.
Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on information, Ajmal Wazir has confirmed a fourth death from coronavirus in the province. The woman belonged to the Lower Dir area and had recently returned from Umrah. Her village has been put under quarantine.
Twenty-five people have so far recovered from the virus.
Punjab leads the provinces with 557 cases, followed by Sindh with its 469 cases. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have so far detected 133 and 188 cases, respectively.
With the emergence of new cases, Islamabad has now 39 cases. Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have 109 cases as of now.
Pakistan’s rising number of cases is being attributed to gross mismanagement of pilgrims at the Taftan quarantine centre and people’s reluctance to obey the social distancing directives.
A contingent of seven buses carrying 204 pilgrims who had been under quarantine at the Taftan border left on Saturday to take the pilgrims back to their homes. Of the 204 pilgrims, 77 are from Balochistan, 63 from Punjab, 59 from Sindh and 5 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
CRITERIA FOR CORONA TEST:
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has identified four types of people who can get tested for coronavirus: asthma patients who have come in contact with Covid-19 patients; patients with respiratory illnesses or immuno-deficiencies; asthma patients who are health workers; patients who are currently admitted in hospitals and are severely ill.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, Mirza said so far 25 people have recovered. Presenting the latest statistics on the confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Pakistan, Mirza said that so far there are 1,408 cases, with 11 deaths. Mirza said that 7,180 people are in quarantine facilities across the country.
PM’s aide on security Dr Moeed Yusuf said Pakistan’s eastern and western borders will remain closed for two more weeks.
He said that until April 4, the international airspace will remain close. From March 29, a week-long ban on all outgoing flights will come into effect.
Dr Yusuf said that depending on ‘case to case basis’ if any country requests a flight to take back its citizens then it will be discussed.
He maintained that the domestic flights were still banned.
Addressing the reporters, National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said Pakistan will receive 15 ventilators from China tonight. In addition to that, the country will import 400 machines will by mid-April, he said, adding the NDMA has placed an order for over 650 ventilators.
Gen Afzal said that five ventilators have been sent to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The National Institute of Health was facing a severe shortage of lab technicians, he revealed. In order to bridge the gap, the NDMA will put out an advertisement on Monday, inviting applications from molecular biologists.
Chosen candidates will be inducted at Grade-14 of the government service level and will be given contractual employment for four to six months.