The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department presented an alarming summary to the Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar. It was stated that “No workplace or residential area of any town is disease-free” in the provincial capital; furthermore, there are a total of an estimated 0.67 million virus cases as reported on Monday almost two weeks ago.
It is advised that the chief minister should quickly impose a lockdown for at least, four weeks since all the areas are affected by the virus and that a smart lockdown would not work.
Lahore, the capital city of Punjab, is now the most severely damaged city of the country having about 26,240 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The report stated that asymptomatic cases became the leading cause of the infection and local transmission in the provincial capital. And until the virus subsides, the results of the smart sampling that was operated with regular intervals should be analyzed before taking any final decision regarding the lifting, easing or decreasing of the lockdown.
The summary — signed by Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary Muhammad Usman and dated May 15 — listed the results of a “smart sampling project” to “detect and determine the spread of Covid-19 and to structure and guide [the department’s] response towards its containment”.
Under the operation, the randomized targeted sampling (RTS) and smart sampling (SS) were accomplished, and the first thing to identify was the spreading of the disease in the occupational sectors that were operating during the lockdown. In contrast, the next thing to understand was the spreading of the disease in the neighbourhood.
Lahore, which has a population of more than 11 million, has around 670,000 cases. But as of June 1, the whole Punjab province has officially reported only 26,240 cases with 497 fatalities.
Through evaluating the data from various hotspots including workplaces and residential areas, the summary noted “a worrisome picture of Covid-19 prevalence” in communities, with 5.18 per cent infection rate for RTS and 6.01 per cent for SS.
“This means that no workplace and residential area of any town are disease-free and, as such, Lahore exhibits an alarmingly similar transmission pattern,” it further added.
Discussing the results of the testing that was finalized in the provincial capital, the summary stated that all of those who were tested, 6% turned out to be positive for the COVID-19. However, some of the towns presented a positive rate of as high as 14.7 per cent.
It also added that all the towns showed a value of more than 3 per cent ― except the Wagha town― and that it ranges between 2.11 per cent and 9.33 per cent.
It was also noted that people of more than 50 years of age are the ones that are severely affected by the virus, as stated in the international literature and research.
Also, the decision related to uplifting or imposing the lockdown won’t be taken privately; instead, it should be expressed through agreement and based on the confirmation that will be collected through smart sampling and testing.