ISLAMABAD          -      Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Sunday revealed that the National Command and Operation Centre identified 92 hotspots in twenty cities of the country.

In a tweet on Sunday, he said that this covers 40 percent of all active cases and three percent of country’s population. The Minister said, “We can have substantial impact on disease while minimising disruption in livelihood of citizens.” He said effective lockdown of hotspots can make a decisive difference.

On the other hand, the authorities confirmed at least 4,951 new coronavirus cases in the country during the last twenty four hours, taking the total tally to 176,617. These include 65739 in Punjab, 67353 in Sindh, 21444 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 9328 Balochistan, 10662 Islamabad, 1278 Gilgit Baltistan and 813 in Azad Kashmir. The death toll from the virus stands at 3501 with 119 deaths reported over the last twenty four hours. At least 28,855 corona tests were carried out during this period. So far, 67,892 patients have recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has asked the people to initiate special care for their elders in the face of coronavirus pandemic.

While briefing media here on Sunday, he stressed the need for wearing face mask, observing social distancing, frequent hand washing, to stay safe from the COVID-19. He said so far seventy-two percent were over fifty years of age who have lost their lives due to coronavirus infection. He said senior citizens should avoid public transport and crowded places. Highlighting the most vulnerable groups of population during the pandemic, Mirza said that it was incumbent upon the younger, healthier people in the family to protect the elderly. “If an elderly loved one is already suffering from a preexisting condition such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease or cancer, it’s our job to protect them,” he said. “We have to fight against this disease at individual level, family level and community level,” he demanded, listing down things that everyone should do to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

Urging everyone to wear masks in public, Mirza reminded the nation that the government has made it mandatory to wear mask in public to prevent the spread of infections. He also recommended keeping a physical distance of at least 2 metres from others while in public. He recommended that elderly person’s physical contact be minimised and urged them to take precautions to protect themselves from getting infected. Mirza’s plea to protect the vulnerable populations came as Pakistan reported 178,892 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. More than 3,500 people have now died due to the respiratory disease in the country. Sindh has reported the most number of cases, with 69,628, followed by Punjab with 65,739. The two provinces have collectively reported around 75 per cent of the country’s Covid-19 caseload. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has reported 21,444 cases and Balochistan has reported 9,328 Covid-19 cases. Federal capital Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have collectively confirmed 12,753 cases of the novel coronavirus.