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Pakistan reports highest number of fresh Covid cases in 10 months

The national tally of total active Covid-19 cases was recorded at 53,127 as 4,974 more people tested positive for the deadly virus on Thursday, the highest number of fresh infections in a single day since June last year.

Ninety-eight corona patients died on Thursday, 88 of whom were under treatment in hospitals and 10 in their respective quarantines or homes, according to the latest update issued by the National command and Operation Centre (NCOC). Most of the deaths occurred in Punjab, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Out of the total 98 deaths, 29 of the deceased died on ventilators during their treatment.

The maximum ventilators were occupied in four major areas including Multan 67 percent, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 64 percent, Gujranwala 60 percent and Lahore 67 percent. Around 419 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in the country while no COVID affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan.

Some 50,055 tests were conducted across the country on Wednesday, including 9,634 in Sindh, 22,624 in Punjab, 8,672 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 7,564 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 367 in Balochistan, 312 in GB, and 882 in AJK.

Around 605,274 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan restricted their activities after multiple employees of the Chief Minister House in both Lahore and Peshawar tested positive for coronavirus.

Reports said at Punjab CM House, two employees had contracted coronavirus and lost their lives a few days ago. They said that the deceased included a protocol officer and a waiter. At least 16 officials of the CM House have also tested positive for coronavirus.

A spokesperson of Punjab CM House said that Buzdar will only hold important meetings and visits at his office. He added that there was a ban imposed on normal visits due to coronavirus.

Separately, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Kamran Bangash confirmed that six employees of the KP CM House have tested positive for coronavirus. He said that the CM’s meetings with elected officials have been reduced, adding that government meetings will be held via video link.

In Lahore, the medical superintendent (MS) of the Mozang Teaching Hospital has been suspended after 350 coronavirus vaccine doses stored there were spoiled, a senior health official said on Thursday. According to a notification of the Punjab Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department dated March 29, the MS, Dr Munir Ahmad Ghouri, was “placed under suspension, under Section 6 of PEEDA Act, 2006, on accounts of inefficiency and misconduct, with immediate effect”.

A senior official of the provincial health department said that the medical superintendent was suspended after 350 coronavirus vaccine doses, stored in the refrigerator at his office were spoiled. “He stored the doses in the refrigerator in his office and then went on leave,” the official added.

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the MS was suspended for “extreme inefficiency” and an inquiry committee was formed. “It will be clear in the [committee’s] report where the vaccine doses ‘disappeared’. Strict action will be taken after the identification of those responsible,” she said.

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