ISLAMABAD - The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) was informed on Saturday that Punjab government has developed a mobile application to indicate bed occupancy and availability of ventilators in each and every hospital of the province.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid informed the forum of these updates at the meeting of NCOC in Islamabad with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair.

She said necessary training is being imparted to the Rescue 1122 and provincial health department staff.

Asad Umar appreciated the Punjab government for taking a lead in developing an application which could update the health officials with real-time data. He directed the other federating units to replicate the initiative for effective handling those COVID-19 positive patients who have been home-quarantined.

Briefing the NCOC about smart lockdown mechanism in Punjab, Dr Yasmin said that the province is all set to issue detailed Standard Operating Procedures in that regard. She said all out efforts would be made to enforce the smart lockdown across the province.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho said the virus spread in central and northern Sindh has been increasing gradually, whereas fewer coronavirus cases were reported in

the southern part of the province. She said that at least 22 areas have been under lockdown in Karachi which emerged as a virus hotspot in Sindh, and the virus was transmitting to other districts due to inter-city movement of the people. The representatives of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balcohistan, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit Baltistan also appraised the NCOC about their strategies in enforcing ‘smart lockdowns’ in their respective areas. The meeting was also informed that the Rural Support Programme has been activated in the federal capital to enhance community mobilisation against the COVID-19.Meanwhile, the tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country has risen to 27, 474 with 1,637 new cases reported during the last twenty-four hours. Around 10,471 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 9691 in Sindh, 4327 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1876 in Balochistan, 421 in Gilgit Baltistan, 609 in Islamabad and 79 in Azad Kashmir. Over 7,756 patients have so far recovered from the virus whilst the death toll stood at 618 with 24 new deaths reported during the last twenty-four hours.