LAHORE - Thirty-seven more including a senior doctor succumbed to Covid-19 on Thursday, taking death toll in Punjab to 607.

Dr Hafiz Maqsood, Associate Professor at Anesthesia Department of Jinnah Hospital, breathed his last on Thursday. Prior to this casualty, one doctor in Lahore and another in Gujranwala have lost lives while taking care of Covid-19 patients.

As many as 1,639 new cases of novel coronavirus were reported in the province, taking the number of Covid-19 patients to 31,104. Four more healthcare providers were also tested positive for the virus.

So far 226 casualties have been reported from Lahore, 129 Rawalpindi, 71 Multan, 51 Faislabad, 37 Gujranwala, 16 each Sialkot and Gujrat, 12 Rahim Yar Khan, 10 Sargodha, eight Bahawalpur, six Sahiwal, four Toba Tek Singh, three each Jhang and Muzafargarh, two each Hafizabad, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura and Narowal and one each from Attock, Bahawalnagar, Khushab, Kasur, Jhelum, Mianwali and Rajanpur.

Out of total COVID-19 patients in Punjab so far, as many as 1,926 are preachers of Tableeghi Jamaat, 768 pilgrims, who returned from Iran, 86 prisoners in nine districts and 28,234 citizens who mostly have fallen prey to local transmission.

15,293 Covid-19 patients have been reported from Lahore so far

So far 15,293 Covid-19 patients have been reported from Lahore, 2,489 Rawalpindi, 2,080 Multan, 1,931 Faislabad, 1,587 Gujranwala, 1,005 Sialkot, 929 Gujrat, 517 Dera Ghazi Khan, 503 Sargodha,  446 Sheikhupura, 406 Hafizabad, 371 Rahim Yar Khan, 352 Bahawalpur, 323 Muzafargarh, 304 Kasur, 269 Jhelum, 204 each Vehari and Mandi Bahauddin, 190 Lodhran, 184 Nankana Sahib, 165 Sahiwal, 152 Khushab, 132 Bhakar, 130 Bahawalnagar, 128 Narowal, 98 Layyah, 95 Attock, 93 Jhang, 85 Toba Tek Singh, 82 Okara, 70 Khanewal, 65 each Rajanpur and Pakpattan, 64 Mianwali, 58 Chiniot and 35 Chakwal.

As per spokesperson of Corona Monitoring Room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, so far 2,59,254 tests have been performed in the province. Out of these, he said, 31,104 have been tested positive for the virus. He said that highest number of cases have been reported from 16-30 years age group followed by 31-45 years age group. He said that lowest number of cases have been reported from above 75 years age group. He said that 7,712 patients have recovered and returned home, 607 died while 22,785 were isolated at home or under treatment at different quarantine centres and health facilities.

No serological tests for Covid-19, PHC directs labs

The Punjab Healthcare Commission on Thursday directed all laboratories of the province not to conduct serological tests for diagnosing the Covid-19, which is to be done only with the PCR testing.

In a letter issued to administrations of all the laboratories, located in the Punjab province, they have been further directed to use CE/FDA approved testing kits only. They have also been instructed to conduct PCR tests only for diagnosing the novel coronavirus, which are to be done at the PHC’s approved labs for the Covid-19 testing. However, the serological tests (ELISA) can be conducted only for estimation of the disease stage (acute, early and convalescent) in combination with the PCR testing for potential donors whose PCR tests have been negative for more than once. All laboratories, intending to start serological tests (ELISA) as per directions, must apply to the PHC for prior approval. Moreover, the labs should submit the details of equipment and kits to be used, at the time of submission of application for approval to the Commission.

The serological tests will only be on the prescription of treating consultant, and the labs will keep the record of all these prescriptions, and PHC will verify the record during visits by its teams. Also, the results of these test can be used in the research proposal as and when approved by the Corona Experts Advisory Group.

A spokesperson of the PHC has added that inspections teams of the Commission would be checking the labs, and in case of violations, the PHC will act sternly against all violating laboratories.