Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that the lockdown and related restrictions placed in Lahore are starting to pay dividends, with the coronavirus positivity ratio in the provincial capital registering an improvement. “The [full] impact of the lockdown and restrictions will become evident in the next two days,” Dr Rashid told two private television channels on Monday. She said that a degree of improvement has already been noticed, as the positivity rate in Lahore has started to decline. The minister hoped that people will continue to follow coronavirus prevention SOPs even as the infection rate declines. Dr Yasmin Rashid said that 18,000 to 19,000 people are being vaccinated against the coronavirus in the province on a daily basis. She said more than 400,000 people, including health professionals and elderly citizens, have thus far been inoculated. Punjab plans to vaccinate all of its elderly population by April-end, she added. She backed PM Imran Khan’s position on lockdowns as well. “The PM is right in that if we impose another [sweeping] lockdown, our economy will grind to a halt and there will be even more loss,” said Dr Rashid. She added if the people wear masks, wash hands and implement precautionary measures, Pakistan can both run the economy and battle the coronavirus at the same time. The minister also spoke about the load on hospitals, telling the hosts of the show that capacity was at 30 to 40 percent in Lahore’s hospitals. She urged the people to contact Rescue 1122 if they want to admit a patient, as the service has up-to-date data on the situation in hospitals. Meanwhile, Punjab recorded as many as 2,275 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths in the last 24 hours, the provincial health department said in a statement on Monday. In a day 15 more patients of the disease died of the coronavirus in the province, Punjab’s Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department stated. The tally of total deaths by Covid-19 in the province has reached 6,587, the health department stated. Lahore reported 1,362 new cases of the virus in a single day, according to the health department. In Rawalpindi 92 cases of novel coronavirus were reported in 24 hours. In the third wave of Covid-19, a steep surge of infections was reported in Pakistan’s largest province causing serious concerns across the country.