ISLAMABAD-The federal capital observed a sharp increase in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in past five days despite authorities’ efforts to control the spread, The Nation learnt on Saturday.

Officials at Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that the previous week remained worrying regarding COVID-19 situation in the city as the lockdown was relaxed by the government.

Officials also said that the relaxation in the month of Ramzan and violation of social distancing in the markets in last five days were the main reasons behind the increased number of cases in the city.

Officials also said that though the number of deaths in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) didnot surge, however the growing number of confirmed cases will also increase number of fatalities in the city as well.

The official data said that 120 cases of COVID-19 were reported during this week, while 166 cases were reported in initial 26 days of the previous month.

According to the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) dashboard, 22 more COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the city in last 24 hours and the tally reached to 365 so far.

Thirty cases were recorded on April 30th, 16 cases on April 29, 36 on April 28, and 16 on April 27.

The NCOC data also said that with 365 overall cases in the city four deaths have been confirmed while 44 people have been recovered.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services (NHS) in his media briefing stressed upon marinating social distancing to control spreading the virus.

He said that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been provided on the COVID-19 dashboard in English and Urdu and anyone can access it.

He said that 13 SOPs have been launched at the federal level which includes the social distancing and COVID-19 testing as well.

He also said that separate SOPs have been launched for maintaining social distancing at shops to avoid the COVID-19 spread.

Dr. ZafarMirza also said that during last 24 hours 1297 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the country which is the highest number so far.

SAPM on Health also said that in last 24 hours, 9164 tests were also conducted in the country. Top health official also said that the surveillance teams are working in the federal capital under the Track, Trace and Quarantine (TTQ) pilot project.

Earlier, SAPM on NHS Dr. ZafarMirza had also met the surveillance teams working to control the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in the city.

During his visit to District Health department, he was briefed on the Quarantine Testing and Tracing (QTT) project in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

The top health official had stated that government is implementing effective measures to control the COVID-19 spread and working to increase testing capacity.

He said that 14 surveillance teams in the city were actively working for testing, tracing and quarantine and regularly conducting tests of the COVID-19 suspects.

Dr. ZafarMirza informed that surveillance teams do the contact tracing and send their samples to National Institute of Health (NIH). He said surveillance teams have done 1650 tests in the city.