Covid-19 positivity rate shoots past 3pc first time in 70 days: minister

Updated 30 Oct 2020

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Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: A day after the government’s decision to limit commercial and social activities, federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Thursday revealed that the national level positivity rate of Covid-19 has exceeded the three per cent mark.

“After more than 70 days the national covid positivity ratio was higher than 3% yesterday. Ncoc (NCOC) has tightened restrictions on some high risk public activities. However, the rising spread of the disease can only be controlled if people believe in the need for precautions,” he said in a tweet.

It is worth mentioning that the government on Wednesday decided that commercial centres in 11 cities will be closed by 10pm and parks will be closed at 6pm.

The positivity rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who test positive for the coronavirus with the number of tests conducted in 24 hours. In July, the positivity rate dropped to less than 2pc, but it started increasing last month and finally crossed the point of 3pc on Wednesday. The highest positivity rate was 23pc in July and the minimum was reported at 1.7pc in September.

According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre, as many as 908 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Oct 28 and the virus claimed lives of 16 people. Some 29,449 tests were conducted across the country on Wednesday, including 9,150 in Sindh, 10,371 in Punjab, 3,615 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,810 in Islamabad Capital Territory, 714 in Balochistan, 313 in Gilgit Baltistan and 476 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The number of active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan on Oct 29 was 11,696.

There was no patient on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.

Out of 1,884 ventilators allocated for Covid-19 patients across the country, 96 are occupied.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020