LAHORE - Eleven more succumbed to COVID-19 in the province on Saturday, taking the death toll to 245.

Five patients breathed their last in Lahore, two in Rawalpindi and one each in Multan, Gujranwala, Sargodha and Bahawalpur.

Out of total 245 fatalities in Punjab till date, as many as 93 occurred in Lahore, 41 in Rawalpindi, 39 in Multan, 27 in Gujranwala, 15 in Faisalabad, seven in Sargodha, five in Rahim Yar Khan, four in Gujrat, three in Bahawalpur, two each in Hafizabad and Toba Tek Singh and one each in Attock, Jhang, Sahiwal, Nankana Sahib, Sialkot, Sheikhupura and Narowal.

As many as 287 new cases of novel coronavirus were reported in the province during the last 24 hours, taking the number of these cases to 14,201.

As many as 110 new cases were reported from Lahore, 48 Gujranwala, 24 each in Rawalpindi and Sialkot, 19 Attock, 16 Sheikhupura, 13 Kasur, six each in Multan and Hafizabad, four each in Sargodha and Chakwal, three Dera Ghazi Khan and one each from Mandi Bahauddin, Nankana Sahib, Sahiwal and Layyah.

Out of total 14,201 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 11, 421 ordinary citizens who mostly have fallen prey to local transmission.

Out of total confirmed patients, 4,757 have returned to their homes after recovery, 245 have died while 9,199 are still under treatment at different hospitals and quarantine facilities across the province.

Out of the collective figure of common citizens, prisoners and those isolated at quarantine facilities in Punjab, the highest number of 6,977 cases have been confirmed in Lahore alone, which has become an epicenter of coronavirus with 93 casualties and addition of 110 new patients in a single day.

So far 984 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Multan, 890 in Gujranwala, 826 in Rawalpindi, 602 in Gujrat, 571 in Faisalabad, 518 in Sialkot, 329 in Sargodha, 280 in DG Khan, 176 in Muzafargarh, 170 in Rahim Yar Khan, 163 in Jhelum, 132 in Hafizabad, 129 in Lodhran, 127 in Bahawalpur, 124 in Sheikhupura, 111 in Kasur, 108 in Vehari, 95 in Khushab, 93 in Bhakkar, 84 in Mandi Bahauddin, 83 in Attock, 82 in Narowal, 63 in Jhang, 62 in Nankana Sahib, 48 each in Bahawalnagar and Layyah, 44 in Chiniot, 38 each in Pakpattan and Okara, 37 in Sahiwal, 33 in Rajanpur, 31 each in Mianwali and Toba Tek Singh, 25 in Chakwal and 24 in Khanewal.

As per spokesperson of Corona Monitoring Room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, so far 155,247 tests have been performed in the province. Out of these, he said, 14, 201 have been tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, teaching hospitals in Punjab have demanded honorarium for all employees across the board rather than just those working in the management of COVID-19 patients as notified in the government’s policy in this regard.

The management of Children’s Hospital and The Institute of Child Health, Principal of Allama Iqbal Medical College/Jinnah Hospital, Medical Superintendent Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Vice Chancellor of King Edward Medical University/Mayo Hospital, Principal of Post Graduate Medical Institute/Ameer-ud-Din Medical College/Lahore General Hospital, Medical Superintendent of Services Hospital, Lahore, Principal Govt Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College, Sialkot, and others have separately written letters Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education (SHC&ME) Department, Punjab, have demanded to modify the criteria of disbursement of extra pay/honorarium, specific to the staff involved in management of COVID19 patients, to include entire staff of the hospitals across Punjab.

The managements of teaching hospitals across Punjab have stated that all of the staff members in hospitals are performing duties in pandemic situation, therefore, all are exposed to the risk of infection. Therefore, the managements of all hospitals in Punjab unanimously demanded that the extra pay for COVID19 pandemic must be given to all the staff of all hospitals uniformly across the board and for providing quality healthcare services to the patients in a pandemic situation.

The existing criteria to award honorarium to the staff performing duties for the management of COVID19 patients is discriminatory and may lead to refusal to perform duties, by those who are not directly involved in management of COVID19 patients, but remain vulnerable at high risk places within hospitals. They demanded that the criteria for disbursement of honorarium to the doctors, nurses, paramedics engaged for the management of COVID19 patients may be revised in a bid to compensate all the staff from BS-01 to BS-20 (Technical & Non-Technical) for their financial stability and encouragement.