The health authorities are expecting a daily 15-20 percent rise in coronavirus cases over the weeks due to easing of the restrictions. Pakistan increased the number of daily tests to about two-fold, resulting in more confirmed cases.
One week after opening up, the number of daily cases has slowly gone up. In the last 24 hours, the country reported a record 2,603 new positive cases from across four provinces, the federal capital, and the AJK and GB regions. This was the worst reported day since the outbreak back in February.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Director-General, Maj Gen Dr. Aamer Ikram, said that the number of daily cases might increase by 15-20 percent due to the government’s decision to relax the restrictions.
The incubation period of the virus is between five and seven days so we have been expecting that the number of daily cases will increase as the interaction between people has increased. However, in the next weeks, we will be in a better position to ascertain the percentage of increase in the number of cases.
As of Thursday, the country reported 51,653 COVID-19 cases with 1,067 virus-related deaths. This way, Thursday was the worst day yet since the emergence of coronavirus in the country.
When asked, Dr. Aamer Ikram said that if the increase in the infections is moderate and as expected (between 15-20 percent), the government will be able to deal with it.
However, a further increase can be problematic and it may compel the government to reconsider its decision regarding the lifting of lockdown.
He advised people to take precautionary measures while interacting in markets, meeting with relatives and friends on the occasion of Eid, or later at their workplaces.
The Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, has already warned that the government will review its decision to open businesses and industries if people do not follow the safety guidelines.