A summary from the Punjab health department has made shocking revelations regarding the spread of novel coronavirus across the province, especially in Lahore.
The document forwarded to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar revealed that no workplace, town, or residential area is virus-free in Lahore.
The data acquired through two parallel sampling cohorts, Randomized Targeted Sampling (RTS) and Smart Sampling (SS), showed an alarming positivity rate of 5.18 percent and 6.01 percent respectively, in Lahore.
Samples were collected from various towns, workplaces, and hotspots. Results showed that 6 percent of all tests were positive while some towns showed a positivity rate as high as 14.7 percent. Considering these samples a true representation for Lahore’s population of 11.8 million, total cases across the provincial capital are estimated to be around 670,800.
The summary mentioned that these cases were asymptomatic thus could not be reported to health officials but became the main source of local transmission. The town-wise breakup showed more than 3 percent positive rate except for Wagha.
The document highlighted that people above 50 were the most vulnerable, as mentioned in the international literature.
The health department in its summary has recommended a full-fledged lockdown for at least four weeks or 28 days with strict ‘stay at home’ orders.
It says that any decision to lift or ease the restrictions must be taken while considering the results of smart sampling conducted with regular intervals.
Moreover, the document asks the government to keep a special emphasis on quarantine and isolation of people over 50, and minimal interaction among household members with necessary physical distancing.
It also recommends added support for health facilities in Lahore to deal with any untoward situation.
A vigorous awareness campaign should be launched to inform masses about the severity of the situation, especially the senior citizens.
It is worth mentioning that Punjab has so far recorded over 26,000 confirmed cases with 475 reported deaths.