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Pakistan reported 708 coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, the first time since October 30, 2021 when it reported 733 infections.

As per the latest data by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 45,643 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours, out of which Sindh reported 415 cases, Punjab (217), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (39), Islamabad (35) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (2) cases. Whereas, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan reported no new cases.

So far, the country has confirmed 1,297,235 Covid-19 cases. During the last 24 hours, the coronavirus positivity ratio was recorded at 1.55%. There are 642 critical cases in the country.

The novel virus claimed two more deaths, taking the death toll to 28,943. The total number of recoveries reached 1,257,168 after 144 people recovered during the last 24 hours.

Umar rings alarm bells over Omicron

The Covid-19 cases in Pakistan have seen a rise as the Omicron variant infected more than 70 people in the country. On Sunday, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has warned against a new wave of Covid-19 amid rising cases of Omicron.

“Clear evidence now of a beginning of another Covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks. Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in Karachi. Remember: wearing a mask is your best protection,” said Umar in a tweet, who is also head of NCOC.

15-day smart lockdown imposed in areas of Karachi District East

The local government also imposed a 15-day micro-smart lockdown in Karachi’s District East on Saturday after the emergence of at least 12 cases of Omicron variant in the area.

According to a notification issued by the deputy commissioner’s office, the lockdown was imposed in Gulshan-e-Iqbal’s Block 7 area and other hotspots on the report of the district health officers.

“In exercise of powers conferred under Section 3 of the Sindh Epidemic Diseases Act 2014 (as amended in 2020), I, Taha Saleem, Deputy Commissioner District Karachi East hereby impose smart lockdown and micro-smart lockdown, which shall be enforced in the streets and houses of specified area respectively as given below, for a definite period of two weeks only,” the notification read.

After the imposition of the smart lockdown, there will be a ban on all sorts of public gatherings in the area, the notification said, adding that the government will strictly enforce the implementation of the SOPs.

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