ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has warned that even though the country’s COVID-19 case numbers are lower than projected, the situation is still uncertain.

He said that this was why testing capacity needed to be increased and vowed to conduct 25,000 tests daily by the month’s end; up from 20,000 tests per day previously indicated. The Minister further said that contact tracing of COVID-19 patients should also be done.

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the total number of coronavirus infection cases in the country has reached 7,481.

Punjab has 3391 cases, Sindh has 2217, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has 1077, Balochistan has 335, Islamabad Capital Territory has 163, Gilgit-Baltistan has 250, and Azad Kashmir has 48 cases. So far 1,832 patients of Coronavirus have been recovered, while 143 have died (Sindh: 47, Punjab: 37, KP: 50, ICT: 01, Balochistan: 05 and GB: 03) and 41 others are in a critical condition.

According to NCOC, 92,584 tests have been conducted since the outbreak of the pandemic. Local transmission is 62 percent and transmission from foreign travel is 38 percent. The government has made ready 589 hospitals with COVID-19 facilities with 1881 patients have been admitted across the country, while 540 quarantine facilities have been established with 19,409 people housed in them.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza said the government is striving to strengthen primary healthcare system. While chairing a meeting of Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority on Saturday, he expressed the government’s commitment to ensure universal health coverage.

The special assistant said the federal capital will be made a model city regarding healthcare facilities.

He said it is the first time that a healthcare regulatory authority has been established in Islamabad which was need of the hour to develop the health sector. He said the authority will regulate private hospitals, clinics and laboratories. The federal government will introduce a digital platform named “Yaran-e-Watan” to enable overseas Pakistani health professionals to give their input to overcome coronavirus pandemic.