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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday reported 5,034 new coronavirus cases with a positivity ratio of 9.75 percent, which is the highest daily infections tally since August 8, 2021, when the country recorded 5,661 infections.

According to the official data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the country also registered 10 more deaths, taking the death toll to 29,029, since the outbreak of the pandemic in Pakistan.

Owing to significant upward trend of the Covid-19 infections across the country, the NCOC has proposed to open educational institutes three days a week. The final decision in this connection will be taken after consultation with the provinces.

According to the NCOC, in the past 24 hours, countrywide a total 5,034 new cases were reported by performing 53,253 tests, which took the national tally of infections to 1,333,521 since the outbreak of the pandemic. The country also reported 1,125 Covid-19 recoveries in the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of recoveries to 1,264,611.

At present, there are a total of 39,881 active coronavirus cases and the Covid-19 recoveries have dropped from 97 percent to 94.8 percent within the past two weeks.

Karachi with 38.79 percent Covid-19 positivity ratio remained the worst affected city followed by Gujranwala with 15 percent, Hyderabad 14 percent, Lahore 12.87 percent, Nowshera 10 percent, Islamabad 8.86 percent, Rawalpindi 7.60 percent, and Peshawar 7.24 percent

The second important meeting of the NCOC was held, in which, the situation of educational institutes was also reviewed, while various proposals regarding new restrictions were considered in the meeting.

Moreover, it was discussed in the meeting that a proposal to make schools online for seven days in Islamabad was also considered. The NCOC meeting was briefed on the ongoing testing in educational institutes.

It was decided to seal the educational institutes, which did not implement the SOPs, while emphasis was laid on measures for compulsory vaccination of students and teachers in the educational institutes.

Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of the Covid-19 deaths, wherein, so far, a total 13,091 people have lost their lives followed by Sindh 7,703 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 5,963 deaths, Islamabad 969 deaths, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 749 deaths, Balochistan 367 deaths, and Gilgit-Baltistan 187 deaths.

Furthermore, out of 1,333,521 Covid-19 cases reported in the country since the Covid-19 outbreak, Sindh with 505,930 coronavirus cases is the worst-hit province on account of case tally, followed by Punjab with 454,372 cases, KPK 182,419, Islamabad 111,855, AJK 34,770 cases, Balochistan 33,729,and GB 10,446 cases.

According to the NCOC data, so far, 102,107,155 people have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine including 318,721 in the last 24 hours. At least 77,485,124 citizens have been fully vaccinated, while 442,884 have received their second dose in the last 24 hours. The number of total administered doses has reached 168,365,369 with 784,082 in the last 24 hours.

The NCOC has also warned the social media users of serious legal action over spread of fake news regarding coronavirus. In a tweet, the NCOC warned social media users of a fake notice being attributed to it, which falsely states that primary schools “will remain closed until next order”.

“A fake news regarding closure of primary schools is circulating via a fake Twitter account,” warned the NCOC. “Action against this account has been initiated through FIA cyber crime wing,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has expressed concerns regarding the worsening coronavirus situation in the country. They have demanded the government to impose a ban immediately on political rallies, sit-ins, and other public gatherings.

A statement issued by the PMA, on Tuesday, said that Karachi’s positivity rate has touched 40 percent, which is the ratio for only registered cases but the actual number of infections could be much higher. The association also warned of further aggravation of the coronavirus situation across the country in the next two to three weeks and said that there is a risk that the Omicron variant could become more deadly.

Besides seeking a ban on gatherings, the PMA also called for the penalisation of those who do not follow SOPs and strictness on checking vaccination cards at shopping malls and restaurants.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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