ISLAMABAD-Above 50 staffers including doctors and paramedics of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) have been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Saturday.

PIMS Media Coordinator Dr. Waseem Khawaja talking to The Nation said that above 50 staffers have contracted the virus in the recent COVID-19 wave.

Giving the details, he said that 17 doctors and medical staff have been infected with the virus while above 30 non-medical staffers have also been confirmed with the virus. 

He added that the virus has surged due to fall in temperature while the patients visiting are also not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Dr. Waseem Khawaja also said that the PIMS staff infected with the virus have been quarantined at homes.

“Non-implementation of SOPs in a place like hospital could become a source of virus spread while Outpatient Departments (OPDs) will be closed if the cases surge further,” he said.

According to the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) statistics, 88 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the city. However, no death has been reported.

Meanwhile, the surveillance cell of the District Health Officer (DHO) report said that 113 cases have been confirmed with the virus in the previous 24 hours including 71 males and 42 females.

The report said that 661 contacts of the patients have been traced and samples of 371 have been collected. The report said that 113 COVID-19 patients have been isolated and 371 have been quarantined.

Earlier, the hospital staff and patients visiting had expressed concerns over non-implementation of COVID-19 SOPS in the filter clinic of the PIMS.

The Nation observed dozens of patients at the filter clinic (new emergency) of PIMS waiting for their turn for medical examination without keeping social distance. 

Though the majority of visitors including male and female were wearing masks, however, there was no implementation on keeping physical distance.

The hospital administration has installed a disinfectant gate before entering the filter clinic, yet there is no direction of following the main SOPs to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Epidemiologists believe that despite COVID-19 curve in federal capital has flattened, dry season and decrease in temperature could again lead to increased COVID-19 cases.

Assistant Executive Director Federal Government Polyclinic (FGSP) Hospital Dr Abdul Wali Khan said that downfall of COVID-19 cases in monsoon was due to different reasons, notably high temperature and relative humidity. However, he said now the end of monsoon and start of dry season and decline in temperature in coming months could increase the daily new cases and hospitalisation in Pakistan. 

He said that to prevent the danger of the outbreak in winter, especially at a time when businesses such as wedding halls and educational institutions were opened, all should take care.

On Friday, the city health authorities sealed five educational institutions in the same week after confirmation of around 20 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in different institutions in a single day.

The District Health Office (DHO) after confirmation of the COVID-19 cases in educational institutions asked the Deputy Commissioner Office (DCO) of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to seal the said institutions and dis-infect the building premises.