LAHORE - Another109 participants of Tableeghi Ijtima and three prisoners are amongst 149 new cases reported on Friday, taking the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in Punjab to 1069.

The number of cases in Raiwind jumped to 251 on Friday from Thursday’s 142 as the victims are believed to be the participants of annual Tableeghi Ijtima, quarantined in Raiwind, following a spike in cases in Punjab. Besides, three new infections have been confirmed among prisoners at Camp Jail in Lahore, which caused a new scare as prisons are dubbed as the potential hotspot of spread of novel coronavirus.

Punjab Minister Health Dr Yasmin Rashid said that so far 17,069 suspected patients had been tested for coronavirus from public sector and private laboratories. Out of these, 1069 have been tested positive for COVID-19.

While giving the break up, the Minister said the government sector had conducted 9,757 tests including 4,039 at Health Department’s Lab, 500 at Nishtar Hospital Multan, 2,238 tests by SKMCH Lab for the government and 2,980 tests are conducted at NIH Lab Islamabad. The private sector labs have conducted 7,312 tests for COVID19 of those who could afford to get tested.

No fatality due to coronavirus was reported on Friday, therefore the figure of casualties due to COVID19 remained at 11 in Punjab so far including five in Lahore, four in Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan. Six patients have also been sent home after complete recovery.

As per Corona Monitoring Room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare (P&SH) Department, a total of 560 corona patients, who are pilgrims or preachers, are under treatment at quarantine facilities including 251 in Raiwind, 213 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 91 in Multan and five in Faisalabad. As many as 210 patients were under treatment in Lahore, 95 in Gujrat, 55 in Rawalpindi, 29 in Jhelum, 19 in Vehari, 15 in Gujranwala, 14 in Mandi Bahauddin, 13 in Nankana Sahib, 10 in Sargodha, nine in Faisalabad, five each in DG Khan, Rahim Yar Khan and Hafizabad, three each in Mianwali and Bahawalnagar, two each in Multan, Bahawalpur, Lodhran, Sialkot and Narowal and one each in Attock, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Layyah, Chiniot and Khushab.

As per P&SH spokesperson, all patients are getting treatment at Isolation Wards, while serious patients are immediately being shifted to High Dependency Units (HDUs). He urged people to stay at home, frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer. He advised social distancing and precautionary measures while attending sick family members.

Meanhwile, Young Doctors Association (YDA), Punjab, has demanded to immediately close down Out-Patients Departments in view of rising number of COVID19 cases in Punjab in order to stop the spread of novel coronavirus among the medical staff and patients of other diseases.

In a statement, YDA, Punjab President Dr Salman Haseeb Chaudhry said that Sindh government had announced to close down OPDs in Malir with effect from Saturday (today) as a necessary measure to stop the spread of virus among other patients and visitors in outdoor wards in public and private hospitals.