Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme Pakistan
People wait their turn outside a bank to receive cash under the government Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme for families in need, affected during a nationwide lockdown to try to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, June 22, 2020. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: The situation over the coronavirus pandemic has worsened in the Pakistan capital of Islamabad, where a number of residential as well as commercial areas have been sealed off by the local administration and health officials after the city saw a sudden spike in the number of positive cases.
On Monday, Islamabad reported 11,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 101 deaths and these statistics have emerged from a city with a population of a little more than 1.01 million.

Pakistan on Monday reported 179,445 cases of coronavirus and 3,590 deaths, with 71,458 recoveries. The number of new cases and deaths, however, showed a downward trend as 4,471 new cases and 89 deaths were reported in last 24 hours.

The number of coronavirus cases in Islamabad is even higher than the total number of COVID-19 infections reported in Balochistan (with a population of 12.35 million), as the province has reported 9,500 positive cases so far and 102 deaths.

Virus transmission from in-coming flights

While speaking to Gulf News, a senior official of Islamabad’s Health Department said that the federal capital has been receiving international passengers who were COVID-19 positive. “In the beginning, they were kept in quarantine for seven to 14 days, but the virus was transmitted from them to local people,” he said.

Two officers of district administration infected

The deputy commissioner (DC) of police of Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat, told Gulf News on Monday that two district officials — a magistrate performing duties at a quarantine centre and an assistant commissioner of police while monitoring standard operating procedures (SOPs) at shops in Islamabad’s Aabpara Market — have been infected with the virus. As soon as their test reports came positive, they went into isolation and are now recovering, the DC said.

Local hospital’s head tests positive

Meanwhile, Dr Ansar Maxood, the head of Islamabad’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) — the hospital where patients with coronavirus are currently being treated — tested positive for the virus on Sunday. This prompted health authorities to review strategy and conduct tests on the entire staff and health workers from the hospital.

Dr Maxood, the executive director of the hospital, is presently in home quarantine. 
All the 75 beds in the isolation ward of PIMS and the quarantine centre there are currently occupied by coronavirus patients. PIMS administration is now in the process of converting a surgical ward into a quarantine centre, said PIMS joint executive director, Dr Minhajus Siraj.

70 per cent deaths from coronavirus had comorbidities

According of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s top aide on health, Dr Zafar Mirza, around 70 per cent of those infected with coronavirus had a history of other diseases (comorbidities) such as cardiac ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes. Addressing the media in the federal capital, Dr Mirza also said that 72 per cent of all victims of coronavirus were aged over 50 years.