ISLAMABAD - Expressing satisfaction over the decline in number of fresh COVID-19 cases in the country, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Zafar Mirza, has warned that coronavirus cases in the country could spike again.

He foresaw resurge in the corona cases if precautionary measures are not taken, especially during the coming Eid-ul-Azha.

Addressing a press conference here Sunday, he said that the country saw peak of the pandemic in mid June and cases had been declining since then.

He said that Pakistan has succeeded in overcoming the disease well before the projection of national and international health experts.

He cited the coming Eid-ul-Azha and Moharram-ul-Haraam as the two major challenges for the nation in the coming days in the wake of COVID-19. “Keeping in mind the pattern in other countries, it is quite possible that COVID-19 cases increase

 due to its resurge in the coming days,” he said.

Mirza also said that the experience of other countries had shown that there could be a spike in the cases again. “We saw this in Spain, Iran, United States and other European countries that there can be resurgence in the corona cases,” he feared.

35 more people die of coronavirus while 1,226 more test positive

Sharing his observation on the Eid-ul-Fitr, the SAPM said this time too interaction and socializing may lead to increasing infections. He urged the people to be careful and avoid unnecessary movement.

He told the media that SOPs were made in consultation with Ulema and the provincial authorities.

Dr. Zafar Mirza said that sale of sacrificial animals and establishment of cattle markets within cities is strictly banned across the country. He said that no cattle market would be set up in the cities as he termed this Eid quite different from the previous ones.

He further said that the government has disallowed cattle markets being set up inside the cities. Small cattle markets which start popping up in cities around Eid will not be allowed this time but cattle markets are allowed to be set up as far outside cities as possible, he said.

He said that special preparations have been made in consultation with all stakeholders to implement Standard Operating Procedure during Eid days.

He warned that the pandemic will further spread if SOPs are not followed by the citizens.

He advised citizens to prefer purchasing of sacrificing animals through online instead of going to cattle markets. He also urged the people to prefer collective sacrifice arrangements instead of individual fulfilment of the ritual, to maintain social distancing and contain the spread of coronavirus.

Mirza said that the government has learned from last Eid-ul-Fitr’s experience and had started preparations much earlier. He urged people to follow SOPs while visiting cattle markets. “Wear a mask, maintain social distancing and wash your hands frequently,” he suggested and added that elderly or sick people should not visit the markets.

Mirza also said that the SOPs containing 20 points and agreed between the government and Ulema for Eid-ul-Fitr would be implemented for prayers on this Eid as well. “Please follow all the SOPs. I appeal to you, for God’s sake, take responsibility and celebrate Eid in a good way. If we follow SOPs, not only will be able to maintain the trend of lesser infections but will also be able to get rid of this pandemic,” Mirza said.

According to the fresh data, 35 more people died of Covid-19 during the last 24 hours in Pakistan while 1,226 more people tested positive for the virus.

 

With the 1,226 new coronavirus cases, the toll of COVID-19 cases surged to 273,113 while with 24 new deaths, the nation-wide tally of fatalities has jumped to 5,822.

 

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has confirmed that 1,226 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours and 35 more people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in the country.