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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, on Monday, announced the start of the fifth coronavirus wave as the country recorded 708 Covid-19 cases, the highest number of cases in a single day since October 30th. According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), countrywide, a total 45,643 diagnostic tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, of which 708 returned positive, reflecting a positivity ratio of 1.55 percent.

On October 30, the country reported 733 cases. Meanwhile, two patients succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide death tally to 28,943, while 144 patients recovered, taking the countrywide recoveries to 1,257,168, since the pandemic outbreak.

According to the NCOC, the total number of cases reported so far has reached 1,297,235, and the number of active cases is 11,124. The chairman NCOC, Asad Umar, while chairing a high-level meeting of the forum announced the start of the fifth Covid-19 wave in the country, which was earlier predicted to engulf the country in mid-February 2022. The fifth wave of the Covid-19, which is driven by the Omicron variant, is spreading at a rapid pace in the country, the NCOC meeting Monday announced.

While addressing the epidemic curve chart data, the national immunisation plan, and disease prevalence across the country in a morning session on Monday, the NCOC confirmed that the positivity rate in Karachi has jumped from two percent to six percent in the last three days, with the highest number of positive instances.

The forum, presided over by Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and National Coordinator Major General Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, agreed to take stringent measures for mandatory vaccinations.

Pakistan reports over 700 Covid-19 cases for first time since October 2021

Omar Ayub Khan, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, and Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, were also present. The NCOC also looked at the disease’s spread and discovered that the fifth wave of the Covid, which is driven by Omicron, is spreading quickly. To prevent the spread of the fifth wave, the NCOC advised people to be vaccinated, wear masks, and maintain social distance.

It was also stated that the people who have been vaccinated are less susceptible to Omicron. The NCOC also assessed district-level immunisation targets, and said provinces are working tirelessly to meet their goals.

To avoid the spread of disease, the NCOC urged the provinces to meet their immunisation targets as quickly as feasible. The beginning of a fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Karachi is being expected as a rapid surge in coronavirus cases have been observed across Sindh, and especially in the port city, after 321 SARS-Cov-2 or the Covid-19 infections were detected.

However, according to health officials as yet no Omicron variant of the Covid-19 death has been reported anywhere. “A total of 403 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Sindh in the last 24 hours, of which 321 were from Karachi,” the officials said.

According to the District Health Officer (DHO) Islamabad, Dr Zaeem Zia, the federal capital so far has detected a total 84 Omicron cases. According to the DHO, Islamabad, the Covid-19 positivity in the federal capital has surged to almost one percent in the past 24 hours as 35 new Covid-19 cases were detected in Islamabad after 3,603 tests were conducted.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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