79% COVID-19 cases in Pak caused by local transmission

Islamabad, April 24 (IANS) As the number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has increased to 11,155 with 237 deaths, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has revealed that 79 per cent of these infections were caused by local transmission.

As the nature of the infection has undergone this change, the government has decided to introduce track and trace system under which random testing of people will start in a few days, reports Dawn news.

During the first week of the current month, it was being claimed that almost 90 per cent patients were travellers from foreign countries and there were fewer cases caused by local transmission of the virus.

However, fresh data showed that only 21 per cent cases have been reported in foreign travellers.

Executive Director of the National Institute of Health Maj Gen Prof Aamer Ikram told Dawn news on Thursday that as the whole situation had changed due to local transmission, it had been decided to change the policy to tackle the issue.

“Earlier most of the cases were being reported in those people who were coming from abroad and even cases of local transmission were being reported among those who had come into contact with foreign travellers.

“However now a majority of cases is being attributed to local transmission of the virus,” he said.

Ikram said that a track and trace system was going to be introduced under which random testing of people would be started in a few days.

“Our testing capacity has been increased due to which now we are in a position to start random testing in residential and industrial areas. In a few days our teams will start visiting communities to seek information about the people having cough or other symptoms of COVID-19.

“Because of surveillance we will be in a position to pick cases and if a person is found positive for the virus, we will test all residents of his/her house,” he told Dawn news.

According to the NCOC data, 124,549 tests have been conducted since the first case was reported in Pakistan.

As many as 2,337 patients have recovered but around 60 were in critical condition across the country.

Meanwhile, 717 hospitals have been providing treatment to people suffering from COVID-19 and 2,779 patients have been admitted to hospitals across the country.