Hundreds of inmates suffering from Covid-19: report

Covid-19 claims 48 more lives; 2,435 fresh cases reported

ISLAMABAD: The federal ombudsman on Friday revealed that hundreds of inmates across Pakistan are suffering from Covid-19.

The federal ombudsman submitted the eighth progress report on the suo motu notice by the Supreme Court (SC) on the plight of prisoners in jails. The report was related to the predicament of women prisoners.

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The report revealed that the highest number of 291 coronavirus positive prisoners were in Sindh jails whereas 126 inmates were in jails of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 80 in Balochistan and three in Punjab.

“Apart from Balochistan, the jails of the three provinces have overcrowded inmates while most of the women are imprisoned in Punjab jail,” the report revealed.

The federal ombudsman suggested setting up jails in every district and in Islamabad adding that separate cells should be set-up for women, minors and drug addicts in the prisons whereas appropriate arrangements should be made for their welfare and education.

In November last year, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, issued the directions that the advocate generals concerned should ensure implementation of the reports in their respective provinces.

Report submitted by the counsel of the federal ombudsman proposed recommendations to the governments concerned related to the improvement in the conditions of jails.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic claimed 48 more lives while 2,435 new infections were reported during the last 24 hours, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday.

With these 48 more deaths, the death toll has reached 10,558. According to the NCOC, with fresh inclusion of the infections in the country, the national tally of cases now currently stands at 497,510.

Around 3,313 patients have recovered from the virus on Thursday and 2,285 patients are in critical condition including 34 new patients. The total count of active cases is 33,124 and the positivity rate stands at 6.35 per cent. Overall 453,828 people have recovered from the deadly disease so far.

A total of 300 patients of coronavirus are on ventilators out of a total of 2,801 people admitted to 627 hospitals across the country.

A total of 38,369 tests were conducted across the country during this period, while 7,002,706 samples have been tested so far.

Separately, the federal government has made another progress in ongoing preparations for anti-Covid vaccination drive as it has decided to establish 12 coronavirus vaccination counters in Islamabad.

The counters will be established in urban and rural areas located in the federal capital Islamabad in order to facilitate its citizens. The Covid-19 vaccination counters will be established in different health centres located in rural areas, as well as in the federally administered hospitals to administer coronavirus vaccines.

The medical facilities where the vaccination counters will be established include Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Poly Clinic, Federal General Hospital (FGH), National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (NIRM), Social Security Hospital (SSH), Rawat Hospital, health centres of Sihala, Tarlai, Bhara Kahu, Shah Allah Ditta and Temar.

A three-member health team will be deputed on every vaccination counter which will be supervised by the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC), sources added.

Earlier, the experts of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had initiated the special training sessions of staff ahead of launching an anti-coronavirus vaccination drive which will be completed in phases across the country.

During the sessions, the health authorities are giving training to the groom master trainers, whereas, the sessions for master trainers for provinces will be completed till January 11.

The master trainers for KP, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) are also being trained at Islamabad, whereas, master trainers are receiving sessions at the provincial offices of the EPI.

The master trainers will conduct training sessions at district and tehsil level in provinces from January 11-15, sources added. The Expanded Programme on Immunisation will conduct the corona vaccination drive and will assist the health department in the first phase of vaccination.

Earlier in December last year, the federal government had prepared the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) with the joint efforts of different ministries for the administration of Covid-19 vaccines across Pakistan.

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