ISLAMABAD - The local transmissions of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in country has jumped to 38 percent as the top health official on Saturday declared that the predictive modeling of virus spread was assumptions only.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said that predictions about increase in cases could be right and wrong as well.

Earlier, Zafar Mirza expressing concerns had said that the local transmission of COVID-19 was 29 percent in the country. However, according to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) data the local transmission has reached 38 percent from 29 while the imported transmission has been reported at 62 percent.

As per the latest updates of the National Command and Control Center (NCC) on COVID-19, the number of confirm patients in country has reached 2,708 including 161 which were reported only in last 24 hours. 

The COVID-19 dashboard also said that four more deaths were reported in last 24 hours and 13 patients admitted in different hospitals are critical. The total number of deaths in country has reached 41 while 130 got recovered.

According to details, the number of patients in Punjab has reached 1072, in Sindh 839, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 343, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) 193, Baluchistan 175, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 75 and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K) 11 cases. The NCOC said that 62% cases are from other countries, 38% is local transmission. About deaths, the NCOC said that due to COVID-19 at least 14 deaths occurred in Sind, 11 in KP, 01 in Baluchistan, 11 in Punjab and 03 in GB.

Total tests conducted in country are 32,930 and 3428 were done in last 24 hours. It also added that there are 449 hospitals with COVID19 isolation case management facilities across country with 7295 beds.

The NCOC also said that 1158 COVID patients are hospitalized and there are 318 quarantine facilities with 9905 cases housed at these facilities. SAPM on NHS Dr Zafar Mirza in his online press briefing said that ‘predictive modeling’ about increase in number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in future is being done at national and international level.

“At this stage we can only say that these are only assumptions,” he said. He said that independent researchers and government itself is reviewing the increasing number of COVID-19 cases however predictions cannot be admitted as conclusion. “It could be right and it could be wrong also,” said SAPM on NHS.

About quality of sanitizers available in the country, he said that Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) had conducted sample testing of sanitizers being manufactured in Lahore and a large quantity was found low quality. He said that samples of 22 sanitizers of different manufactures were found low quality with less than 70 percent alcohol in it.

Dr Zafar Mirza said that government has also observed that health professionals being provided the Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) must properly utilize the equipment and avoid misusing them.

He said that the PPEs must be used according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and government’s guidelines while senior doctors also direct the junior health professional for rational use of the equipment.

Zafar Mirza also said that estimates regarding damages due to coronavirus outbreak in the country are being made. Giving media briefing along with Special Assistant on National Security Division Dr. Moeed Yusuf in Islamabad on Saturday, he said National Command and Control Centre has a pivotal role in control of COVID-19 situation in Pakistan and it is a testament of national solidarity.