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Pakistan

Govt will have to shut down major cities if current COVID-19 wave continues, warns Asad Umar

  • Umar says Pakistan reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths this week since the virus outbreak
  • The positivity ratio of the deadly virus in major cities across Pakistan has spiked due to the UK variant: NCOC chief
Published April 21, 2021

(Karachi) National Command and Operation Centre chief Asad Umar has said that the COVID-19 situation is alarming in the country and if the situation did not improve then the government will have no choice but to close big cities.

Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad on Wednesday, Umar said that Pakistan reported the highest number of coronavirus deaths this week since the virus outbreak. "Approximately 600 coronavirus patients from across the country are being admitted to hospitals every day."

The NCOC head stated that the number of patients on oxygen is more than 4,500 which is 30 percent more than than the first wave of the virus.

He pointed out that the positivity ratio of the deadly virus in major cities across Pakistan has spiked due to the UK variant.

Asad mentioned that a drastic increase in COVID cases has been witnessed in Sindh, especially in Karachi and Hyderabad. He said that the infection rate in Karachi and Hyderabad has reached 13 percent and 15 percent.

He said that the government tried to control the virus situation with strict implementation of precautionary measures and SOPs. "We have to continue doing that because the virus is spreading rapidly in the region," the NCOC chief said.

He said that Iran reported over 25,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, while India recorded nearly 275,000 new cases with over 1,700 deaths. “A new double mutant has also been found in India after which Pakistan placed a restriction on travelers from the country.”

Umar revealed that the government has prepared new guidelines and shared them with the provincial governments. They will be announced on April 23.

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