- Country reports another 2,158 cases during last 24 hours as concerns over Delta variant and fourth wave grow
Karachi: Pakistan continued to record a rise in its coronavirus positivity ratio after 2,158 cases were reported to be positive on Thursday from 34,216 tests conducted during the last 24 hours.
Pakistan has also been witnessing a rising trend in coronavirus cases with the daily number amounting to over 2,000 for more than a week. Pakistan has so far confirmed 998,609 Covid-19 cases.
As per the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data, the national positivity ratio during the past 24 hours was recorded at 6.3%, the highest since May 20.
During the third wave, 50,397 and 90,553 active cases were recorded on March 30 and April 30, respectively. At the moment, there are 52,752 active Covid-19 cases and 2,525 critical cases.
The virus also claimed 40 lives in the past 24 hours. The death toll has now jumped to 22,928. Meanwhile, 895 new recoveries from the deadly virus have taken the tally to 922,929.
The total cases reported in Sindh have reached 361,160, in Punjab 351,592, in Balochistan 29,301, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 141,288, in Islamabad 85,179, in Gilgit-Baltistan 7,551 and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir 22,538
Moreover, the situation in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, has been alarming as public and some private sector hospitals are reaching capacity. "Government hospitals have reached saturation point, something not witnessed during previous waves, and even some private hospitals are refusing patients," said Dr Qaiser Sajjad, secretary-general of the Pakistan Medical Association, earlier.
Dr Seemin Jamali, executive director of the Jinnah Hospital, said that 77 out of the 90 coronavirus beds were occupied and it was planned to add more.
"We did not face such a capacity situation during previous waves," Jamali said a couple of days ago. "The situation is getting pretty bad."
This is the second successive year that Eid-ul-Azha has been celebrated with Covid-related restrictions in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan wished the nation on the occasion and urged people to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"Qurbani (ritual animal sacrifice) does not only mean sacrificing the animal but it also refers to man sacrificing his desires for a higher purpose. This passion gives rise to such an ability in a man that even the hardest times do not make him go astray from the right path," the Prime Minister's Office quoted him as saying.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar had also warned earlier in July that there were clear signs of a fourth Covid-19 wave starting in Pakistan. "Two weeks ago, I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing the possible emergence of a fourth wave. Now there are clear early signs of a fourth wave starting," he said in a Twitter message.
"God have mercy on us, people are not taking this pandemic seriously. Such irresponsible behavior on the Eid will make matters worse," Dr Sajjad said.
There are also fears that the Delta variant may provoke an extreme surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.
Amid the rise in cases, Pakistan has also been trying to increase its pace of vaccination. So far, 24.1 million total vaccine jabs have been administered across the country out of which 6.9 million are 'fully vaccinated'.