Pakistan’s Coronavirus ‘Hotspots’: What and where are they?

Pakistan will now be targeting 'virus hotpots' to fight the COVID-19 crisis.

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The Minister for Federal Planning and Development Asad Umar announced that the government has decided to use technology to track down the cases of COVID-19 and identify virus ‘hotspots’. This would be done as part of the government’s ‘smart lockdown’ strategy.

During a news conference at the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) on COVID-19, Minister Asad Umar said it needs to be assured that the policies and strategies being made to tackle the Coronavirus threat can be implemented practically as well.

What are the virus ‘hotspots’?

A virus hotspot is an area where a cluster of people has been tested positive for the virus. Such areas have a high probability of spreading the disease or at a high risk of disease emergence.

Targeting these hotspots is an important part of ‘disease-control’ strategies since they can transmit it to their neighboring localities.

Virus hotspots in Pakistan

Asad Umar displayed a map during his briefing to show virus hotspots in the country. While talking about Lahore, he said that the virus seemed to be most concentrated in Thokar Niaz Beg.

He highlighted that Peshawar, Karachi, and Lahore were most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the number of cases in these cities is rapidly increasing as well.

How Will The Data Be Collected?

Asad Umer said that there is an urgent need for an efficient system for the collection of data, which is why the National Information Technology Board (NITB) has developed a web portal.

Through this web portal, the information would be collected from all 424 hospitals dealing with COVID-19 cases across Pakistan.

The hospitals would be able to enter data into the portal so that all of it is gathered at one place

”Hospitals have already started entering their data. Through the portal, we will be able to know the exact number of beds, patients, and ventilators in each hospital’’, Umar said.

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