Punjab has 40819 confirmed COVID-19 patients, says Yasmin Rashid

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Punjab has 40819 confirmed COVID-19 patients, says Yasmin Rashid

ISLAMABAD-:Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Tuesday said that 40,819 people were

tested COVID-19 positive and 773 lost their lives in Punjab so far.

She said that in past 24 hours, 916 people were confirmed positive

and number of deaths was 48.

Addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister Secretariat, the Provincial

Health Minister said that as many as 8300 recovered patients had returned to their

homes.

"In last 24 hours , 9023 tests were performed, taking the total number of tests to 299,057," she added.

The Minister said that Lahore was the worst affected district with 19,299 patients whereas one third of them had already recovered. Rawalpindi had 3196 patients, Gujranwala 1767, Multan 2261 and Faisalabad 2765, she added.

The number of patients had increased manifolds due to carelessness of people and for lack of compliance with the SOPs. "People must know that the coronavirus pandemic is very much real and we must fight it by compliance with the SOPs. The government, as a last option, has taken action against people violating the SOPs but people must themselves show responsibility by following the SOPs," she added.

The Minister said: “Around 75 percent patients are from the 50 plus age group. There is no truth in the rumors of shortage of beds and ventilators in government hospitals. Patients may not be sent to hospitals of their choice in the current situation. In the High Dependency Units of Punjab, on 53 percent beds treatment is being provided to the patients. In all government hospitals, all necessary facilities are available for coronavirus patients. In the ICUs, on 52 percent beds treatment is currently being provided to the patients. A Central Control Room has been set up at Mayo Hospital which is providing information and guidance to patients and their families including Rescue-1122 services for coronavirus patients. The trials of different medicines are underway across the globe and in Pakistan we are also conducting the trials of medicine Acterma. The Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has approved trials of the medicine for 1000 patients in Punjab.”

Later responding to the queries of journalists, the Minister said that only one company was manufacturing Acterma Injection and the government had discussed with them to bring the price to Rs 102,000 per patient for full treatment.

One patient will be given 400 ml in 24 hours and the next dose will be given in the next 24 hours. The company has been stopped from providing the injection to private hospitals without the government approval. The Punjab Healthcare Commission will be monitoring the implementation of this. No country has discovered any treatment of the disease.

So far only three in every 10 patients at the ICU are reporting improvement. This is not a life saving drug and not everyone can benefit from it. Government will take action against companies selling it above its approved price. The government has scaled up the testing capacity from 1200 in March to 9000 now and the government also committed to implementing the lockdown SOPs. Some areas in Punjab may face complete lockdown and its formal approval may be sought from the cabinet in the next few days,she added.

The Minister said, “I salute all doctors, nurses and paramedical staff who have lost their lives to the coronavirus pandemic. So far 609 doctors 223 nurses, 107 Paramedical staff and 228 other people have been affected by the diseases taking the total to 1177. Out of these, 594 staff members have recovered. Most staff members were affected in the Lahore General Hospital and the overall recovery ration among healthcare workers is very good.”

She said the government takes immediate action on news of staff catching infections. She said an inquiry had been initiated into the death of Dr Salman Ali at the Services Hospital.

She said: "Every healthcare worker is front line soldier and his life is extremely important to the government. The staff is serving the patients with dedication and as a national cause. The government is utilizing all resources to provide best possible treatment to the patients and to control the pandemic."

Additional Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Dr Asif Tufaul, CEO Mayo Hospital Professor Asad Aslam Khan, Chairman Corona Expert Advisory Group Dr Mehmud Shaukat, Dean Children Hospital Professor Masood Sadiq and Dr Sumayya Iqtidar were present on the occasion.