Pakistan managed to cope with the increase in critical COVID-19 patients by proactively building the capacity of the entire system. Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar revealed this on Friday.
In a series of tweets, Umar said the total number of critical COVID patients reached 5,360 on Thursday. “This is 57% more than the peak in June 2020,” he said. So far, Umar added, the government handled the increase successfully.
“Total oxygen production operational capacity in Pakistan last year was 487 tonnes per day. It has been increased to 798 tonnes,” said Umar. “We also imported 19,200 oxygen cylinders last year to ensure distribution.”
Umar said because of Pakistan’s steps, the tight oxygen supply situation seen last June was not happening this time.
“Continuing to build [oxygen] capacity, in yesterday’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) [session] it was decided to import 6,000 tonnes of oxygen, 5,000 cylinders, and 20 cryogenic tanks.” The minister added this “proactive decision-making” was helping Pakistan.
“[The] bedrock of this proactive decision-making has been a data-based forward-looking analytical approach, [a] nationally coordinated effort with a whole of the nation approach and [the] hard work of dedicated teams who have continued to steer the effort through this difficult challenge.”
The challenge is not over yet!
However, he cautioned that the “challenge is not over and is in fact is continuing to increase”.
He added that the need for following precautions and Covid-19 standard operating procedures was “vital at this point in time” and the next few weeks were “critical”.
“No system can cope if we allow the disease to spread rapidly.”
“However, the challenge is not over. In fact, it is continuing to increase. The need for precautions and following SOPs is vital at this point in time. The next few weeks are critical. No system can cope if we allow the disease to spread rapidly. May Allah be with us and protect us.”
He said proactive decision-making with the help of God Almighty has helped to avoid the kind of scenes being witnessed in some other countries. Minister Umar said the challenge is not over and the need for precautions and following SOP’s is vital at this point in time.
Last Tuesday, Pakistan recorded over 200 COVID-19 deaths in a day for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, the government is now also considering stricter lockdowns.
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