ISLAMABAD – As the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country continued to climb past 2000, the government on Thursday invited ideas from the public in search for a solution to the spreading contagion.
In an online media briefing Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services (NHS) Dr Zafar Mirza said the government and Pakistan National Incubation Center (PNIC) have collaborated and decided to search for solutions with the public’s active involvement.
He said that the Ministry of NHS, PNIC along with 23 national and international organizations had provided a platform to researchers, individuals and groups to share their ideas on a ‘Hackathon’ forum. He clarified that anyone can share an idea on it and the government will provide an opportunity to implement the plan.
Dr Zafar Mirza also said that while some of the areas have been identified by the government as important, plans other than those recommended by the government will be also welcomed. These areas are; determining the authenticity of COVID-19 data and coping with false information, improvement of the supply chain mechanism for food and medicine, ensuring personal hygienic conditions and maintaining cleanliness in cities.
Similarly, ideas have also been invited on provision of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) to hospital management, and testing and tracing of COVID-19 patients and work from home. To make a submission people have to access the website www.nicpakistan.pk/hackathon and send their program plan to the government through it.
He said that the deadline of the program is April 12. The short-listing will be completed till April 14 and final list will be displayed on April 22. The government will provide financial, technical, and management guidance to the people while the activity will upscale the efforts of prevention against COVID-19 at a national level.
Providing the details of the cases, SAPM on NHS Dr Zafar Mirza said that the total number of cases in country have reached 2291 and 252 cases were added in last 24 hours.
He said that 31 patients died in different areas of the country due to COVID-19 while 1061 are still admitted in hospitals. Dr Zafar Mirza also said that nine patients are still critical and on ventilators while 8665 are in quarantine facilities. He said that 5654 have been tested in the quarantine facilities and 20 percent of them are positive with the virus. “80 percent in quarantine are tested negative,” he said.
Giving the region wise details of the COVID-19 patients he said that 854 cases have been confirmed in Punjab, 747 in Sindh, 276 in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) 187, Baluchistan 169, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 62 and Azad Jammu & Kashmir has 09 COVID-19 patients.
According to the National Command and Operations Centre data 25 confirmed COVID patients were discharged in last 24 hours. According to the NCC the case fatality rate in Pakistan is 1.35% while global CFR is 5.05% at present.