Paramedic pakistan Karachi
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes notes of a man's health history before taking a nose-swab sample to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Karachi, Pakistan June 27. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Although the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has jumped to 225,290, the government is confident it will handle the pandemic and the number will decline in July and August.

From an informal chat with various ministers and even through their media talks, one gets the impression as if Pakistan had achieved success against coronavirus and the route back to normality is only a matter of days.

However, according to independent public health experts, it is not clear whether these promising figures are because of the smart lockdown and other measures taken by the government or due to plunge in number of daily tests.

Pakistan is conducting less than 25,000 Covid-19 tests on daily basis while a fortnight ago, the number of daily tests was 30,000-35,000.

According to the health ministry’s website, the tally of daily cases has declined from earlier figures of 4,000-5,000 to 3,000-4,000. On Saturday, the number of cases in last 24 hours was reported at 3,387 while 68 deaths were caused during this period.

Fight against virus, joblessness goes side by side

The National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday marked 100 days of battle against coronavirus and Minister for Special Initiatives Asad Umar on this occasion paid rich tributes to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), provincial governments, police and law-enforcement agencies for their day-and-night efforts against the virus and for ensuing effective coordination among various departments.

It is because of their coordinated efforts, today, recoveries from coronavirus have outnumbered the active cases, he said. According to the NCOC, 125,094 people have recovered across Pakistan, while the number of active cases is 95,570.

“Our frontline health workers, doctors, nurses, and medical staff are our heroes, said he adding the government was making all out efforts to ensure that both — fight against coronavirus and normal course of life — went side by side,” he said.

He, however, cautioned against the violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against Covid-19, as it could result in recurrence of coronavirus.

Clerics urge combined sacrifice at Eid

Meanwhile, prominent clerics and noted scholars of the country have advised the people to prefer collective sacrifices to individual rituals this Eid Al Adha.

The moon-sighting committee’s chairman, Mufti Munib-ur-Rehman, along with other ulema and clerics has given a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) which, he claims, has been agreed on by all the clerics of all schools of thought and the Sindh government.

He appealed to the people and the provincial administration to cooperate with each other amid the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Never felt scared so much in my life’

Federal Minister for Railways Sh Rashid Ahmed, while speaking at a press conference in Lahore said he would not wish “even on his enemies” to be infected with coronavirus.

This is very serious and fearsome disease and though there have been four attempts on my life and five of my colleagues were killed, yet I was never scared in my life as I was of this virus, he said. “I would not wish this virus even on my enemies. I pray for Shahbaz Sharif to recover as well,” said he while replying to a journalist question.

Lambasting the previous governments of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for poor state of health care in the country, Rashid said he was not able to get an injection that he needed for his treatment. “I could not get that injection even for Rs500,000 (Dh10,959). Finally, NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal got it for me,” he said.