LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said on Monday that the coronavirus situation in Lahore is improving and the impact of the lockdown and restrictions will start showing in the next few days.
“The [full] impact of the lockdown and restrictions will become evident in the next two days,” Dr Rashid told Geo Pakistan. She noted that the positivity ration in Lahore has declined as well.
The minister hoped that people will continue to follow coronavirus prevention SOPs even as the infection rate declines. She also threw her weight behind PM Imran Khan’s position on lockdowns.
“The PM is right in saying that if we impose another [sweeping] lockdown, our economy will grind to a halt and there will be even more loss,” said Dr Rashid.
She believes that if people wear masks, wash hands and follow the SOPs then Pakistan can run the economy and fight against coronavirus at the same time.
Regarding hospital load, the minister told the hosts of the show that capacity was at 30 to 40% in Lahore’s healthcare facilities.
She urged the people to contact Rescue 1122 if they want to admit a patient, as the service has up-to-date data on the situation in hospitals.
Punjab’s COVID-19 positivity ratio over 12%
On Monday, Punjab’s coronavirus positivity ratio stood at 12.6%, with the province administering 17,994 tests, of which 2,275 returned positive.
In Lahore alone, the authorities administered 6,511 tests, of which 1,362 were positive, putting the positivity ratio at 20.92%.
Punjab tightens restrictions as coronavirus cases spike
Last month, the Punjab government had tightened restrictions across the province to control COVID-19 spread, especially in Lahore.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had announced the new restrictions at a press conference after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus, which had reviewed the pandemic situation.
Under the new measures, mass transit has been suspended, as are wedding ceremonies, indoor and outdoor gatherings and other recreational activities.
Restaurants can only keep takeaway and delivery open, while all shops close at 6pm.
No ban has been placed on economic activities. Strict compliance, however, has to be observed with standard operating procedures for prevention of disease spread.
The restrictions came into force on April 1 and will remain in place until April 11 at least.