LAHORE: Two Covid-related deaths in the city have necessitated taking a slew of steps to avert the onset of the sixth wave of the virus.

Both the deaths of Covid patients occurred in a private hospital of Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

According to the official figures, so far six patients, including a five-year-old minor boy, tested positive for Covid, have died during the last two weeks in Lahore. Of them, four deaths took place in DHA and Johar Town, raising an alarm for the residents of posh areas of the city.

Other than two deaths, eight more people tested positive for the virus during the last 48 hours in Lahore and they were isolated in the hospitals due to the breathing problems and low oxygen saturation level.

Eight people test positive during 48 hours in city

Of them, two children were also shifted to the Children’s Hospital, Lahore, with short breathing problems showing the virus was targeting the kids.

The resurgence of the Covid-19 has alarmed the health authorities when they were informed by the hospitals that they have begun to receive patients in serious condition.

An official said the health authorities seemed to be ‘unmoved’ to the threat of new wave of the virus which is evident from the fact that nothing has been done as follow-up to the new positive cases of Covid which in the past had played havoc in Punjab, particularly, in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala etc.

He said after reported fresh Covid deaths, the health department neither dispatched teams for the contact tracing in the areas where the patients were living, nor they formed teams to investigate the new variant of the Covid-19, if any, surfaced in Lahore which was causing instant deaths of the patients.

In the past, the official said, massive exercise was done on reporting of each Covid-related death or new positive case of the virus in any part of the city or other parts of the province.

He said the health department used to send teams [to] homes for sampling and vaccination besides declaring the areas high risk for Covid.

Similarly, many relevant government departments used to be activated to create mass level awareness to follow the Covid guidelines strictly in crowded markets, schools, offices, parks and other such places.

He said Eidul Fitr is approaching fast and a special campaign must be launched to ensure preventive measures in the congregations and other gatherings but nothing has been done despite the fact that the Coronavirus was spreading slowly and gradually in Lahore during the last two weeks.

Quoting some public health experts, he said the Covid situation is getting from bad to worse in India as 5,000 cases are being reported daily these days there.

Similarly, he said, the virus is also resurging in China and the travelling from both the countries in Pakistan through borders is another major challenge.

About the figures, the official said Punjab has so far reported total 525,110 positive cases of the virus besides 13,622 deaths since the virus hit the province.

A majority of these cases were reported in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, and Gujranwala, he said and added the resurgence of the same virus in the provincial capital has posed a serious threat of new wave of the virus.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2023

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