Even as cases continue to increase across the country, the national Covid-19 positivity rate has decreased from 7.2 per cent to 6pc, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was told on Tuesday.
Among provinces and federation units, AJK's positivity ratio is the highest at 14.5pc. AJK is followed by Sindh, where the positivity rate is recorded to be 10.1pc. Last week, the NCOC was told that Sindh had the highest positivity rate of 13.25pc. Gilgit Baltistan has a positivity ratio of 2.6pc — the lowest in the country.
Positivity rate recorded in provinces and federation units:
Meanwhile, Azad Jammu and Kashmir's Mirpur city has crossed 20 per cent and is recorded to be the highest in the country, followed by Peshawar and Hyderabad.
According to statistics, Mirpur's positivity rate has jumped to 20.62pc — a significant leap from 14.97pc, which was recorded last week.
The positivity ratio in Peshawar is 19.58pc, while Hyderabad's rate is 19.03pc. Karachi, which has the fourth highest positivity ratio, witnessed a drop from 17.73pc to 13.86pc.
Additionally, the number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition has risen to 2,165, the NCOC was told. The highest number of critical coronavirus patients is in Sindh, where 696 people are in serious condition. Last week, 2,112 patients were recorded as critical. The forum once again warned that the number of critical patients across the country was increasing at a fast pace.
The NCOC was also briefed on the policy pertaining to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT). Experts said that a national policy had been prepared to initiate RAT testing method which was in sync with the guidelines of World Health Organisation. The executive director of the National Institute of Health said that authorities of all provinces and regions had been taken on board to "devise a unified strategy to hold Antigen Testing as per the international standards".
As per the policy, the NIH director said, public sector laboratories authorised by the government would be allowed to perform RAT tests initially. It would be up to provincial authorities to allow private labs to conduct RAT tests, he said. However, only facilities performing PCR testing would be permitted to conduct RAT tests.
Representatives of provincial governments, who attended the meeting, told NCOC that all necessary arrangements were being made to hold Antigen testing in all major hospitals.