ISLAMABAD - The number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the capital on Mondaysurged again to 248 after facing a decrease, however, the health officials said that the recent increase is due to a backlog of tests.

As per the National Command Operation Center (NCOC) data, 248 cases have been reported in the city with five more deaths.

The cases recently dropped to 189 with only two deaths previously, however, 59 cases have been reported in the previous 24 hours in the city.

District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. Zaeem Zia talking to The Nation about recent surge in the cases said that 25,000 tests have been done in the city and sometimes due to the increased number of cases, backlog is created and results are reported with delay. Dr. Zaeem Zia said that the figure has dropped from around 400 cases being reported daily. “Around 50 cases are a relatively small number,” he said.

He said that the epidemiology sciences ask for more tests and tracing which is being implemented to cope with the pandemic adding that the number of severe cases of COVID-19 has reduced in the federal capital hospital. He also said that the death ratio in the city is also low.

Meanwhile, the Directorate Health Services (DHS) of Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) also launched a campaign in high risk slum areas of the city to trace the COVID-19 cases.  

The statement released said that the DHS launched a campaign in slum areas in order to assess the prevalence of coronavirus in poor and high risk population areas of Islamabad.

It said that this is all the more important since other areas have been covered through line listing. Slum areas where people are poor and have compromised hygienic conditions and poor health conditions are more at risk. 

Previous week, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had decided to lock down five more areas of the city to control the pandemic as an increased number of cases was being reported from the areas.

However, the ICT administration on Sunday announced de-sealing of two sub-sectors of the G-9 after imposing smart lockdown in the areas for five weeks to control the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread.

The administration decided to de-seal the residential areas of the sub sectors G-9/2 and G-9/3 immediately, while the commercial areas were to be de-sealed from Monday.

The notification issued by the ICT administration said that in exercise of powers conferred under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1958, and after detailed survey, contact tracing, ground surveillance and testing of suspected individuals, the residential areas of sector G-9/2 & G-9/3 are hereby de-sealed with immediate effect and the commercial areas will be de-sealed from 29-06-2020 (Monday).

It further said that however, the de-sealed areas will be regulated by the prevailing orders of Section 144issued vide No. 1(1) HC (G)-2020 dated 23.03.2020, amended time to time, and in case of any violation of SOPs, strict legal action will be taken against the delinquents under the relevant provisions of law.

“Moreover, the Assistant Commissioner (Industrial Area), Islamabad shall ensure compliance,” said the notification.