Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid has endorsed a blanket lockdown in Lahore in the wake of the rising infections in the provincial capital, saying hospitals have run out of ventilators.

The minister reportedly said that the district administration and Punjab Health Department are in favour of a complete lockdown after the coronavirus positivity ratio in the city climbed to 19 per cent.

It may be noted that the health department had sought lockdown in the last week of March as well, but its request was turned down by the Buzdar government.

Rashid said that the condition in Lahore will continue to worsen if the government failed to take any stringent measures. According to Yasmin Rashid, some of the major hospitals of the city, including Gangaram, Jinnah, and Services Hospitals, have run out of ventilators. Moreover, the OPD section of the Jinnah Hospital has been closed to the public.

The minister said oxygen beds have reached their 70 per cent capacity across Lahore — a worrying increase. The final decision on the new restrictions will be taken by the provincial government headed by Usman Buzdar.

In the last 24 hours, 4,584 people tested positive for COVID-19 while 58 lost their lives, according to the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC).

Most casualties were seen in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) followed by Punjab. The number of critical patients in Pakistan stands at 4,201 while the positivity rate is 10.37 per cent. Meanwhile, the NCOC will meet today to decide on restrictions ahead of Ramzan.


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