ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) has announced that it was considering recommending full lockdowns in areas with high COVID-19 positivity ratios in the country.
According to the NCOC statement issued on Saturday, in light of increasing COVID-19 cases, the forum deliberated upon proposed lockdowns in high disease prevalence cities.
The NCOC clarified that talks would be held with stakeholders before a lockdown is imposed. The restrictions, if enforced, would include the closure of markets, malls, less essential services, a ban on intercity public transport, and a complete closure of educational institutions.
To ensure that the lockdown achieves its target of curbing the virus’ spread, the assistance of the army, Frontier Corps, and Rangers, would be provided to provincial governments, the statement said.
In the meantime, the NCOC was given a detailed briefing on oxygen supply to health care facilities. “A total of 6,901 beds have been inducted to meet the increased requirements due to surge in COVID cases. Oxygen supply is also being critically monitored,” noted the NCOC statement.
Appreciating the National Disaster Management Authority for enhancing health care facilities’ capacity, the NCOC noted it had added 2,811 oxygen beds, 431 ventilators, 1,196 oxygen cylinders, 500 BiPAP, and 1,504 finger pulse oxymeters.
The NCOC also decided to extend the two-day inter-provincial transport ban — on Saturday and Sunday — till May 17, 2021, which was earlier imposed till April 25.
Meanwhile, the NCOC decided to open a walk-in vaccine facility for people older than 60 — which was earlier restricted to people over 65 years.
In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 157 deaths from coronavirus on Saturday, making it the country’s highest death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began last year.
Previously, the highest death toll reported was 153 on June 20th last year. The total death tally has now surged to 16,999. On the other hand, the national positivity ratio shot up to 11.27 percent.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Pakistan reported 5,908 cases and 157 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The total number of cases has reached 790,016 since the pandemic began.
The data showed that 52,402 tests were conducted the past day. The total number of active cases is also steadily rising and has reached 86,529.
Punjab has reported 285,542 cases, 276,670 in Sindh, 112,140 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 72,613 in Islamabad, 21,477 in Balochistan, 16,327 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 5,247 in Gilgit Baltistan.