ISLAMABAD: Pakistan saw a significant rise in the number of daily Covid-19 cases on Friday after 2,304 people tested positive during the last 24 hours, the highest tally since July.
In a related development, the Cabinet Division issued a notification detailing measures to be taken in government offices in the wake July of growing number of cases.
Friday’s count was a 27 per cent increase from the previous day’s figure of 1,808. The deadly virus claimed 37 lives across the country in the last 24 hours.
One of the casualties was MPA from Sindh Jam Madad Ali who reportedly died of complications from Covid-19.
Fifteen days earlier, the 58-year-old PPP chief tested positive and was admitted for treatment to a private hospital in Karachi.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, another parliamentarian and former prime minister, also contracted the infection.
This was confirmed by the son of the senior PPP chief in a declaration. He said his father had abandoned all political activities and had July been requesting prayers for his rehabilitation from party workers and supporters.
Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have jointly recorded 462 coronavirus cases and four deaths over the past 24 hours, according to the National Command and Operation Center.
As many as 357 persons tested positive and five died in Islamabad, while 98 cases and two deaths occurred in Azad Kashmir. Gilgit-Baltistan has seen seven new cases registered.
In Punjab, on the other hand, 601 more individuals were afflicted with the infection, while 17 died. With the death rate at 2,455, the number of cases in the province has reached 108,822.
Collectively, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan confirmed 262 cases of coronavirus and two deaths.
214 individuals in KP were contaminated with one life lost. As a result, with 1,303 deaths, the provincial count of cases has risen to 41,471.
There were 48 new cases detected in Balochistan, taking the count to 16,274. Since another person fell victim to Covid-19, the death toll increased to 155.
Sindh reported 822 positive cases, with a total number of 153,874 infected individuals reported.
Four more people succumbed to the virus in Sindh, according to the regular statement released by the House of Chief Ministers, raising the total death toll to 2,722.
The statement said 10,614 samples were checked in the province in the last 24 hours, out of which 822 individuals returned positive findings. The rate of positivity was reported at 7.7%.
Cabinet Division notification
A notice was given by the Cabinet Division that 50 per cent of workers would have to operate from home.
The notification indicated that the additional Secretaries-I and II may, on a rotation basis, decide on the presence of their respective joint secretaries. Those joint secretaries who do not visit the office, however will work from home and not leave the station.
Similarly, on a rotation basis, joint secretaries can take a decision on the 50 per cent participation of their respective deputy secretaries and section officers.
One officer in their office can be deputised by officers operating from home to manage the reports and be accessible on the phone.
It was mandatory for all officers and other personnel to wear masks, the notice added. In order to obtain permission for isolation, any officer or official feeling sick or displaying virus signs will automatically notify their respective heads.
Data should be handled via e-filing while preventing the handling of hard files. The workers should make sure that they are sanitised in case a hard file has to be transported. Inter-office meetings or consultations are ideally held by video or telephone conferencing. If meetings are deemed very important, seats should be placed in a manner that guarantees a space between July them of at least one metre.
No guest shall be permitted to enter the office without the prior approval of the responsible officer, informed by the respective officer at the reception desk.
Employees must also ensure that the officer’s space, table and chairs are sanitised and prevent handshakes or direct contact.
The notice also ordered the sanitisation of the office premises twice daily.
Young people more vulnerable
People in the age class of 31-45 were more vulnerable to the virus, which was followed by those in the age group of 16-30, according to a report compiled by the Punjab government.
The new analysis reversed previous claims that coronavirus was less susceptible to the younger generation.
One of the reasons for the high prevalence of the virus among individuals in these age groups was their inclusion in outdoor activities.
A senior health department official said most individuals attended educational institutions in these age ranges, did jobs or ran corporations. As a result, their peers and fellow students were vulnerable to them and did not take any protective action either. Being asymptomatic, July in complete denial, they pass viruses to their aged family members or multiply positive events.
Therefore the official said those persons should take exceptional care by wearing masks and decreasing their outdoor activities.
Statistics reveal that 32,060 people were in the 31-45 age group out of the total confirmed cases in Punjab, while 29,849 were from other age brackets.