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ISLAMABAD: Following an increase in the Covid-19 positivity ratio in some cities, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reissued the directive for adopting coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs).

A statement issued on the official Twitter handle of the National Institute of Health (NIH) said: “after a slight change in Covid-19 cases in some cities, the NCOC has recommended that mask-wearing on all domestic flights, railways, and public transport within the country is mandatory, so all citizens are requested to wear a face mask during travel.”

Fresh Covid-19-related data released by the NIH, here on Monday said that over the past 24 hours countrywide coronavirus positivity almost reached to three percent level as a total 382 new Covid-19 cases were detected by performing 13,412 Covid-19 tests, reflecting a positivity of 2.85 percent.

Following the detection of 382 fresh Covid-19 cases, the national tally of infections since the pandemic outbreak has reached 1,534,270. The health authorities also reported two fresh Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours which took the national tally of coronavirus deaths to 30,390. Nationwide, a total 267 Covid-19 recoveries took the national tally of recoveries to 1,499,248 since the pandemic outbreak.

Meanwhile, 87 patients suffering from the disease are being treated in intensive-care units (ICUs), the number of patients in ICUs within the past one week has increased from 57 to 87 reflecting an increase of 52.63 percent. With the fresh cases and deaths, Pakistan’s number of active cases stands at 4,632, the NIH said.

Covid-19 Positivity rate in Karachi soars to alarming levels

The situation in Karachi is growing worse as the Covid-19 positivity ratio in the city climbed to 22.65 percent. The megacity reported 234 coronavirus cases after 1,033 tests were performed. Meanwhile, the overall positivity rate in Sindh is 6.17 percent, making it the most affected province, with 260 new infections reported during the last 24 hours.

Muzaffarabad after recording 6.25 percent positivity ratio stood second followed by Nowshera with five percent Covid-19 positivity ratio.

Experts say Pakistan may potentially witness another Covid-19 outbreak as the country continues to see a hike in new cases, pushing the positivity rate further up.

With a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases health experts have stressed the need for taking following preventive measures to effectively deal with the spread of pandemic: (i) vigilantly watching through good surveillance and testing; (ii) communication around rising risk especially in urban areas; (iii) start of wearing mask in advance indoors in cities reporting over five coronavirus positivity; and (iv) vaccination with emphasis on boosters.

As per the NIH, 85 per cent of Pakistan’s population has already been fully vaccinated. The health authorities have administered a total 266,158,823 coronavirus vaccination doses to the people of which 965,578 doses were administered in the past 24 hours. So far a total 126,004,745 people have been fully vaccinated, of which, 162,895 people received a second dose in the past 24 hours.

According to the NCOC since the Covid-19 vaccination drive started in February 2021, a total 136,754,791 people have received the first coronavirus vaccine of which 71,212 people got their first jab in the past 24 hours.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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