58pc of Pakistan's coronavirus cases are now locally transmitted

Published April 16, 2020
Pakistan conducted around 5,540 coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours. — White Star/File
Pakistan conducted around 5,540 coronavirus tests in the past 24 hours. — White Star/File

Around 58 per cent of Pakistan's total coronavirus cases are locally transmitted, data released by the National Command and Operation Centre revealed on Thursday.

During March, when the pandemic began spreading in the country, Pakistan's number of imported coronavirus cases — a large chunk of which came from Iran — was higher than locally transmitted ones.

But the scales began tilting gradually, with imported cases slowing as the government suspended international flights on March 21, and reports of virus patients with no travel history began making the rounds. By April 12, the prime minister's assistant on health, Dr Zafar Mirza told media that around half of Pakistan's total positive cases were infected through local transmission.

Latest figures revealed Thursday showed the ratio of local transmissions had shot up to 58 per cent out of a total 6,505 positive cases as of noon.

Furthermore, Coordinator for National Emergency Centre on Polio Dr Rana Safdar told Dawn.com that the country's polio surveillance system will be used to trace coronavirus cases, as it is the most effective virus detection system in place in the country.

Read more: Punjab has conducted the most Covid-19 tests but other provinces are lagging behind

According to Ministry of National Health Services Spokesperson Sajid Shah, Pakistan conducted 5,540 coronavirus tests on Wednesday. This is the highest number of tests conducted over a 24-hour period in the country. On average, Pakistan conducts 2,500 tests in a day.

Shah said Pakistan's total number of tests stood at 78,979, according to the latest figures available. He further said that as the number of tests conducted rises, so will the number of positive cases.

"In fact, the government's aim is to conduct 25,000 tests daily by the end of April and predictive modelling shows that in that case 1,000 new cases will be reported daily in the country on average," he said.

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