Lahore has become the first polio-virus free city of Pakistan. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Lahore has become the first polio-virus free city of Pakistan.

This unique distinction has been achieved after the 5th environmental sample taken from the city for the poliovirus tested negative.

Earlier, four environmental samples for the virus had tested negative. Deputy Commissioner of Lahore Muddasir Riaz Malik announced this on social media while paying rich tributes to polio vaccination teams.

“Because of the efforts of our brave polio teams, cooperation of our parents & intense work from the whole administration Lahore is polio free as all 5 environmental samples are negative,” said the city’s DC on his official twitter account.

However, this achievement won by Lahore seems to be overshadowed as COVID-19 situation continues to worsen in the city and number of cases are emerging from all its parts.

According to the Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in Lahore had reached 19 per cent, while in the rest of the country it was 10.29 per cent.

A day earlier, when Pakistan reported the deadliest single day death toll, 29 patients died of coronavirus in Lahore— 14 at Mayo Hospital, 6 at Jinnah Hospital, 4 at General Hospital, 3 at Punjab Institute of Neurosciences (PINS) and one at a private hospital, whereas, 1,186 patients were admitted to different hospitals.

Dr Yasmin Rashid confirmed that 100 more ventilators have been procured for the province and 50 of them would be given to the health facilities in Lahore. An official of the Punjab Health Department confirmed that 44 ventilators had arrived at the government hospitals of Lahore and were made operational.

Complete lockdown

Meanwhile, the district administration of Lahore is considering stringent measures in the city to curb spread of coronavirus and one such measure is imposing complete lockdown for one or two weeks.

A final decision will be made after approval from the NCOC and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In Lahore, the markets are already being closed at 6pm to curb the spread of coronavirus but people’s indifference to health guidelines or wearing of facemasks is quite upsetting and the authorities are thinking of strict measures to check this trend.

President Dr Arif Alvi has recovered from COVID-19 and spent first day of the week in office doing work. “Though the first two days of COVID-19 were difficult, yet I am still feeling weakness,” said the president in a tweet on Monday.

President Arif Alvi had tested positive on March 29 despite the fact he and his wife Samina Alvi received COVID-19 vaccine jabs on March 15. His wife Samina Avi had tested negative but President Alvi got infected.

Asad Umar in a tweet said the NCOC in its meeting on Monday reviewed the situation of disease spread, fill up of hospitals & SOP compliance status.

The SOP compliance remains very weak & pressure on hospitals is increasing. Administration has been asked to ramp up compliance enforcement to avoid a crises like situation, he said.

4,584 new cases, 58 deaths

Pakistan on Monday reported 4,584 new cases of COVID-19 and 58 deaths during the past twenty-four hours, according to the NCOC’s official portal.

With these latest figures, the country’s total number of infections soared to 725,602 and death toll 15,501. The NCOC figures further reveal that active cases had crossed 75,266 mark on Monday. In the last 24 hours, 44,514 tests for COVID-19 were conducted that revealed the positivity rate had declined a little bit but the threat was very much there.