LAHORE: Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said positivity ratio in Punjab has declined to less than 2 per cent as a result of stricter lockdowns around Eidul Fitr.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the minister said that people must not be misled by rumours about vaccines on social media. She said only in Khanewal, Vehari and Multan, the ratio was on higher side whereas it had continued to report major dip in the province including Lahore recently.

The minister said in the last 24 hours, 403 positive cases were reported and 49 people lost their lives. She said, “All commercial activities are closed after 8pm in the province with the exception of essential items. Corona pandemic has not gone anywhere and we must not be complacent. We have witnessed decline in cases due to strict compliance with SOPs around Eidul Fitr. We can stop the spread of COVID-19 by enforcement of SOPs. Only by keeping the positivity ratio down, can we bring life back to normal. If our businessmen followed SOPs strictly, we won’t see any worsening of situation again. Indoor marriages are under complete restriction. Subject to compliance with SOPs, parks have been opened. Shrines have been opened on the condition of compliance with SOPs.”

Dr Yasmin Rashid said, “I have seen ridiculous news on social media like chip installation, infertility or mortality within 2 years. These are all rumours, false, pointless and baseless. Everyone in our team has got vaccinated including myself. Vaccine is not harmful, instead it is very useful. A large number of world over have got themselves vaccinated. By the end of the current year, we have to achieve the target of giving vaccination to 70 million people. In the last 24 hours, we have vaccinated more than 180,000 people.”

We have adequate resources available for corona patients. Treatment is being provided to free of cost to corona patients. Punjab was also going to procure vaccine worth Rs1.5 billion. People of 18 years and above were being registered for corona vaccine, she said.

Responding to queries of journalists, the health said that directions for strict compliance have come from Prime Minister Imran Khan himself. All are approved by the World Health Organization. She said COVEX has given Pakistan Astra Zenica as per their commitment and Pfizer vaccine will only be given to people reporting other diseases. She added that all PPRA rules were being followed for the procurement of vaccine.

The minister said that treatment has been provided to all including Opposition leaders. Responding to another question, she said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was given best quality treatment which helped improve his platelets and treatment is available for all. On a question about the departure of the former prime minister, she said despite ruling the province for 10 years, they could not develop a hospital good enough for their own treatment. She said she herself and govt servants get treatment inside Pakistan. To another question, she responded that said Nawaz Sharif must come back to Pakistan as he has recovered for the last one and a half years.

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