WHO recommends Punjab to enforce 2-week lockdown


LAHORE: The World Health Organisation has recommended the Punjab government to enforce a strict two-week lockdown in the province to stem the spread of coronavirus.
In a letter to the Punjab government, the WHO strongly recommends that the government adopts the two weeks off and two weeks on strategy as it offers the smallest curve. It also recommends strengthening all public health measures such as quarantine, isolation, physical distancing and contact tracing.
The WHO lauded the provincial government’s efforts in response to the pandemic. “Government intervention on April 12th 2020 detailing social distancing measures including restrictions, closure of schools and businesses, international travel restrictions and geographical area restrictions were instituted with the aim of limiting the spread of the disease,” the letter said.
The organisation said during the lockdown, the country was reporting 1,000 cases per day. However, this number increased after the federal government eased the lockdown in the country. “SOPs need to be strictly enforced to stem the spread of the virus,” the letter said.
Cases increasing beyond 100,000 in Pakistan are concerning, the WHO said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid said on Tuesday that the provincial government will impose a lockdown in areas with higher number of coronavirus cases to stem the spread of the disease.
The provincial health minister talking to media persons said that the government had warned earlier that the number of cases will rise. She said that the final decision regarding the lockdown will be taken by the cabinet committee.
“Lahore has more than 19,000 coronavirus cases,” said the Punjab health minister, adding when the lockdown was eased ‘people thought that the coronavirus has left’.
Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the cases are rising due to the violation of SOPs, even though people were fined for flouting the rules. Punjab has every kind of data, she said.
She said that in Punjab, the highest number of tests was done and several doctors, who were even not treating the virus patients, got infected. She said that the province has a great number of testing kits.
“There are reports that Actemra injection is being stocked to be sold in black,” said the minister, adding in the same vein the medicine is not life-saving. – TLTP