Punjab imposed micro quarantines in several cities: minister

ISLAMABAD: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Monday said that the government has imposed micro lockdowns in several cities as the positivity rate has surged to 12 per cent, which she said is a “concerning extent”.

Punjab now has 199,040 confirmed cases after registering 1,863 new infections with an alarming positivity ratio of 10.77 per cent in the last 24 hours.

The province on Monday reported 8 deaths due to coronavirus-related complications, raising the fatalities to 5,982. There were 999 new recoveries recorded, leaving 177,698 fully recovered, and 15,360 active cases of the virus.

“Punjab government has issued new health guidelines for public places, markets and other activities that involved gatherings”, she said while speaking to a news channel.

She said the government has done satisfactory arrangements to deal with a third wave of coronavirus and added the district administration had started a crackdown on violations of SOPs (standard operating procedures).

She also said Lahore was becoming an epicenter of the coronavirus, as 1,824 new cases have been reported from there.

Dr Rashid said there’s no need to panic because the government has enough facilities to manage the increasing number of infections.

She said NCOC’s daily meetings have been called to cope with the spike in cases to place more beds in hospitals. If people make wearing masks their habit, we can reduce the spread by up to 50 per cent to 70 per cent”.

While all the provinces are under pressure, but Punjab is under a constraint because of its dense population, and increased testing, she added.

She also urged the people to follow the SOPs in letter and spirit, warning the government would be forced to place stronger restrictions if the situation continued to deteriorate.

She asked the people over 70 to vaccinate themselves without any delay and those between the ages of 60 and 70 should receive their pin code and come to their nearest vaccination centre.

She said the public should be more vigilant and take care of their elders in their homes.

Replying to a question, she said the Covid-19 vaccination will start at private hospitals within a day or two.

She asked the public to get their family members, who are above 60, vaccinated against the deadly virus, adding the public must ensure wearing face masks while going outside.

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