ISLAMABAD             -         At least 2636 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the country during the last twenty-four hours, taking the nationwide tally to 64,028.

Some 22,964 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 25309 in Sindh, 8842 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 3928 in Balochistan, 2100 in Islamabad, 658 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 227 in Azad Kashmir. According to officials, at least 22,305 patients so far recovered from the virus while the death toll stands at 1317 with 57 deaths reported during the last twenty four hours. Officials on Friday said that at least 11,931 corona tests were carried out during the last twenty-four hours. Local TV channels on Friday night reported that at least four doctors were among the patients who succumbed to coronavirus during the last 24 hours.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr. Zafar Mirza has urged the people not to let their guard down against Coronavirus, as number of cases and deaths could increase in the country in the coming days.

Briefing media on Friday, he said that the situation regarding availability of ventilators and beds across the country was under control. He said 18 to 20 percent out of total number of ventilators were in use at the moment. He said National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was closely watching the situation and would adopt strategy accordingly in consultation with other stakeholders.

Dr. Zafar Mirza said that people could not grasp the situation regarding lockdown. He said that new guidelines had been issued for people who died of coronavirus. He said there had been no evidence so far of transmission of coronavirus from dead body. He said persons handling the dead body should adopt all precautionary measures, including use of personal protective equipment. He said testing during Eid holidays was slow, but was regaining momentum. He said 35 percent people in Pakistan had recovered from the disease.

National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Friday briefed all the provinces including Gilgit Baltistan (GB)

and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on centralized Resource Management System (RMS) which would be launched tomorrow.

The NCOC meeting was headed Director Operations and Plans NCOC Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya. While speaking on the occasion, Major General Goraya said there was need to focus on hospital data authenticity as its data ingestion had different issues in the provinces.

He said there was also disparity in the data of number of tests conducted per day and contact tracing of affected COVID-19 patients. Community mobilization, he said, had brought positive impacts and all stakeholders were also involved in the process.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) National Information Technology Board (NITB) Shabahat Ali Shah said all of the provinces had worked hard to update the RMS system. There were discrepancies in the data received from Sindh where the information shared should be analyzed by the data operators/providers for reducing anomalies, he added.

The provincial representatives also apprised the forum on the issues faced by their administrations regarding RMS and exchanged their feedback on the system. 

NCOC official also told the forum that globally the only way adopted to fight COVID-19 was test, track and quarantine (TTQ) strategy and smart lockdown. He mentioned that different additional measures were also adopted along with TTQ strategy to mitigate the risk where contact tracing was also necessary.

Asad directs provinces to share COVID-19 information on RMS

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday directed the provinces to share their latest COVID-19 combating efforts and latest information about the pandemic in their respective areas in the Resource Management (RMS) to facilitate people.

While chairing a meeting at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to review the COVID-19 situation, he said that the RMS was effectively providing latest information regarding COVID-19 to four provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). RMS also provides latest information about the availability of beds, ventilators and other facilities available in hospitals.

The representatives of provinces, AJK, GB and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) expressed satisfaction over the workings of RMS. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf briefed the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) about the latest plan of bringing back stranded Pakistanis and testing plans of the suspected patients. Earlier the NCOC was briefed about the launching of RMS.

The meeting was attended by Interior minister Brig Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Special Assistance to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Prime Minister’s focal person on COVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf. High ranking officials of provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) also participated.