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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan, Friday, approved Covid-19 vaccine booster jabs for the citizens above the age of 18 years as the country recorded 7.36 percent coronavirus positivity since August 2021,as it detected 3,567 cases after carrying out 48,449 nationwide tests, Covid-19-related data released by the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) said.

The country also reported seven Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours taking the national death toll to 28,999. According to the NCOC data, in the past 24 hours, 262 coronavirus patients seven Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours taking the national death toll to 28,999.

According to the NCOC data, in the past 24 hours, 262 coronavirus patients have recovered taking the national recoveries to 1,260,407 since the outbreak of the pandemic. After the emergence of 3,567 new Covid-19 cases, the national tally of infection since the pandemic outbreak has reached 1,315,834.

The Covid-19 positivity ratio in Karachi reached up to 31 percent on Thursday when 1,940 people were tested positive for the infectious disease, an official report revealed as two more people died in the city.

Owing to the alarming increase in Covid-19 positivity, the NCOC, Friday, announced reducing the eligibility age for the booster jab of coronavirus vaccine from 30 years to 18 years, saying all citizens above 18 years can get the coronavirus vaccine’s booster jab, as the Omicron variant pushes infections across the country.

The free booster dose will be administered to people after a six-month gap from when their vaccination was completed.

Pakistan's coronavirus positivity shoots to 7.36%, daily cases jump to over 3,500

According to official data, at present, Karachi’s coronavirus positivity rate has reached to 28.8 percent, which is the highest in the country. A total of 7,226 tests were conducted in the city, of which 2,081 returned positive, amounting to a 28.8pc positivity rate, up from 20.4 percent a day earlier. The city’s positivity rate on December 31 was recorded at 4.74 percent.

Lahore has the second-highest positivity rate at 9.6 percent, followed by Islamabad at 5.53 percent. The positivity rate in all other major cities remains below 5pc, the data showed.

According to the District Health Officer (DHO), Islamabad, in the past 24 hours, a total 299 Individuals tested positive for Covid19 in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) region after 5,407 tests were conducted with a positivity ratio of 5.53 percent.

According to the NCOC data, in the past 24 hours,Sindh reported 2,321 cases and two Covid-19 deaths as a result the provincial cases tally has reached to 494,064 and death tally to 7,693. The province has reported 469,506 recoveries so far.

The Punjab has reported 843 cases and one death in the past 24 hours, taking the provincial case tally to Punjab 450,686 and death toll to 13,085. Punjab has reported a total 430,258 coronavirus recoveries, while 7,343 coronavirus cases are active.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) reported 90 Covid-19 cases and four deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the provincial case tally to 181,996and death toll to 5,952. At present, a total 687 coronavirus cases are active in the KPK, while 175,357 patients have recovered.

Balochistan in the past 24 hours reported seven new Covid-19 cases and no death taking the provincial case tally to 33,682 and death toll stands at 367 since the pandemic outbreak.

In Balochistan, a total 49 coronavirus cases are still active, while the province has reported 33,266 recoveries. The ICT reported 299 cases and no deaths taking the total cases to 110,243 and death toll stands at 967.

In the ICT, 1,432 coronavirus cases are active, at present, while 107,844 recoveries have been recorded in the ICT since pandemic outbreak. The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) reported four new Covid-19 cases and no deaths; cases tally in GB has reached to 10,437 and death toll stands at 186. While a total eight coronavirus cases are active in GB and 10,243 recoveries have been reported in the region.

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has reported seven new Covid-19 cases and no deaths, taking AJK’s case tally to 34,726 and death toll stands at 749, since the coronavirus outbreak.

There are a total 44 active Covid-19 patients in the AJK, while 33,933 recoveries have been reported.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Dr Faisal Sultan has said that 50 percent population of Pakistan above the age of 12 years has been completely immunised against Covid-19. He urged the people to keep following precautionary measures. “Let us also not forget that with cases surging all over the country, we must wear masks, especially indoors.”

According to Dr Sultan, Pakistan’s data on vaccination shows that the infection rate of the disease in immunised people is way less than those not vaccinated.

“Vaccines are protecting everyone. But it’s especially important for women and the elderly to get inoculated,” he stressed.

The SAPM has also outlined these precautionary measures: Wear masks, get vaccinated, avoid crowded areas, and ensure proper ventilation at public gatherings.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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