ISLAMABAD             -        Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar on Friday said that the overall coronavirus situation was getting better in the country but Sindh province, especially Karachi, was yet to see improvement.

While addressing media at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) here, Asad Umar expressed his satisfaction over better compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that, he said, resulted in a limited spread of COVID-19 cases in the country.

He was satisfied that the number of deaths, patients reporting to the hospitals and patients on ventilators has gone down in the country in the recent days. He said there were lesser deaths in hospitals on Friday as compared to mid-June. He attributed improvement in the situation to the public following the precautionary measures.

The Minister hoped that if the citizens continue following the precautionary measures, the situation in the country will further improve in the coming days. He however, said that the only area where not enough improvement was witnessed was Sindh province, especially Karachi city.

The Minister who also heads the NCOC told the media that the authorities at the NCOC were in contact with the provincial Chief Secretary and Sindh Health Minister to work out a strategy so as to replicate the results in Sindh as were in the rest of the country. The minister warned the people to not lapse in following the preventive measures as it could cause the number of cases to rise again. He said improvement in the situation was possible only because the people were following precautionary measures.

Asad Umar said that the NCOC has reviewed the situation and also devised a strategy on how to spend the month of July. He appreciated the officials at the provincial level for their hard work to contain spread of the virus. He criticized the business community for not complying with the SOPs.

Meanwhile, the death toll from virus swelled to 4,551 with 72 deaths reported across the country during the last 24 hours. Out of 221,896 COVID-19 positive patients, 113,623 have so far recovered from the disease across the country. At least 22,941 corona tests were carried out across the country during this period.

In Punjab, out of 78,956 corona patients, 33786 have recovered. In Sindh, 89,225 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported. Of these, 49,926 have recovered. 27,170 cases have so far been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and of these 14715 have recovered. In Balochistan, 10,666 coronavirus have so far been reported. Of these, 5,073 have recovered.

Some 13,195 cases have so far been reported in Islamabad and recoveries are 8,264. In Azad Kashmir, there are 1,160 confirmed cases of coronavirus and of these 686 have recovered whilst in Gilgit-Baltistan, out of 1,524 cases, 1,173 patients have recovered.

US provides 100 ventilators to Pakistan to fight against COVID-19

The United States has provided one hundred ventilators to Pakistan to support it in its fight against Covid-19. US Deputy Consul General Jack Hillmeyer handed over the ventilators to Member Operations NDMA Brigadier Waseem-ud-Deen in Karachi on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, Jack Hillmeyer said the United States stands with Pakistan in its fight against coronavirus.

He said the donation of these ventilators, costing three million dollars, is a realization of commitment US President Donald Trump made with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Brigadier Waseem-ud-Deen said these American-made ventilators will help Pakistani patients in the most acute need of medical care.