Positivity rate exceeds 5pc after three months

Published November 11, 2020
A vendor selling facemasks waits for customers on a bridge in Lahore on Tuesday. — AFP
A vendor selling facemasks waits for customers on a bridge in Lahore on Tuesday. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: While the positivity rate of Covid-19 cases has again surpassed five per cent after a gap of over three months, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was briefed on Tuesday that daily cases confirmed by labs in different cities have climbed up to 16 per cent.

The highest increase in confirmed cases has been observed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir i.e. 16.71pc. The cases have increased by 8.71pc in Balochis­tan, 5.39pc in Sindh, 4.46pc in Punjab and 3.24pc in Gilgit-Baltistan, while in Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) cases have decreased by 4.92pc and 4.61pc, respectively.

Earlier on October 29, federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar tweeted that after more than 70 days the national Covid-19 positivity ratio, which was counted through positive cases per 100 samples, was higher than 3pc.

In Pakistan, the maximum positivity rate had reached 23pc in June as it had increased from 6pc in May, while the positivity rate was brought down to 1.7pc in September.

According to a presentation given at the NCOC on Tuesday, the positivity rate was 11.79pc on March 30, 19.95pc on May 25 and 22.24pc on June 1. Later, it started dropping and reached 16pc on July 6, 3pc on August 10 and 1.7pc on Sept 21. An upward trend in the positivity rate was spotted again next month as it reached 2.49pc on Oct 19, 4.26pc on Nov 2 and 5.13pc on Nov 10.

The NCOC was informed that the number of deaths in Pakistan surpassed 7,000. There were less than 10 deaths till April 6, maximum number of deaths in 24 hours i.e. 124 was reported on June 15. Per day mortality dropped to a single digit on August 17 and then again reported in double digits on October 12. Twenty-three deaths were reported on November 10.

Similarly, the trend of new admissions due to Covid-19 has also started rising as 131 patients were admitted in hospitals, across the country, as compared to 46 on October 5.

The NCOC was informed that among healthcare workers 8,573 cases were confirmed, which was 3pc of overall Covid-19 cases. Around 96pc (i.e. 8,167) healthcare workers recovered.

It was informed that there were 3,173 ventilators across the country of which 1,248 vents were dedicated for Covid-19 patients and another 1,546 ventilators, which were basically used by non-Covid patients, can be used for Covid patients in case of emergency only. On Tuesday, 160 (13pc) dedicated ventilators were occupied.

Tests per million

The participants in the meeting were apprised that Islamabad tops in terms of tests per million population as 268,736 tests per million population (26.87pc) have been conducted in the federal capital. Among other regions and provinces, Sindh is on the top to have conducted most tests. In Sindh, 36,347 tests per million population (3.63pc) were conducted, followed by Gilgit-Baltistan where 32,069 tests per million population (3.20pc) were done. Similarly, Azad Jammu and Kashmir conducted 16,804 tests per million population achieving (1.68pc), followed by Punjab with 15,357 tests (1.53pc) per million population, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 14,679 tests (1.46pc) and Balochistan with 10,917 tests (1.09pc).

According to the latest data released by the NCOC, the number of active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan has increased by more than 14,000 cases in last eight weeks only. The total number of active cases on Nov 10 was 20,045 while it was 5,831 on Sept 14.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2020

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