Covid positivity, cases soar overnight as Delta variant fuels concerns

Published July 15, 2021
People crowd at a cattle market ahead of Eidul Azha in Peshawar on July 13. — AFP
People crowd at a cattle market ahead of Eidul Azha in Peshawar on July 13. — AFP

With Eidul Azha just a few days away, the fourth Covid wave appears to be taking hold as Pakistan recorded 2,545 cases on Thursday – a massive 28.5 per cent increase over the 1,980 cases reported a day ago.

This is the first time the country has reported more than 2,500 infections since May 29, when 2,697 cases were reported.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 48,910 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours of which 2,545 came back positive. The total number of cases has increased to 981,392 and the death toll is 22,689.

The positivity rate has also soared to 5.2 per cent from 4.17pc a day earlier. The last time the positivity rate had crossed 5pc was on May 23, when it was recorded as 5.22pc.


Positivity rates in different cities:

  • Gilgit: 23.17pc
  • Skardu: 21.26pc
  • Muzaffarabad: 21.03pc
  • Karachi: 19.29pc
  • Rawalpindi: 11.97pc
  • Peshawar: 9.4pc
  • Islamabad: 6.2pc
  • Lahore: 3.8pc

Giving a breakdown of the data, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said "Covid-19 numbers continue to rise" in the country. "Use masks (even if you are vaccinated), avoid crowds," he advised, urging citizens to get themselves vaccinated.

Voicing his concern, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that a rapid build up was starting to take place in the inflow of Covid-19 and critical care patients at hospitals.

"The Indian variant has caused devastation in countries in the region. Please follow SOPs and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do not risk your own and others lives," he urged.

The overnight increase in cases comes as officials in recent weeks sounded the alarm over a fourth wave fuelled by the Delta variant, first detected in India. Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued a clear warning of a looming fourth wave, terming the Delta variant “the biggest concern”.

The concerns were later echoed by Umar, who said that there were clear signs of a fourth Covid-19 wave starting in Pakistan. A day earlier, the minister for special initiatives had shared a Bloomberg article about the coronavirus situation in India and the economic toll on the people.

"This is the devastation Covid can cause if you don’t take the right decisions at the right time,” the minister had tweeted.

In addition, more than 40 cases of the Delta variant have been reported in Karachi during the current month while the positivity rate in the metropolis has also soared. On Wednesday, the Sindh government reimposed coronavirus restrictions in the province, closing down schools and indoor dining, as Karachi's positivity rate was recorded as 17.11pc.


Additional input from Ikram Junaidi

Opinion

Editorial

More leaks
Updated 29 Sep, 2022

More leaks

Recent leaks look more like an inside job than the work of a foreign power.
A depressing winter
29 Sep, 2022

A depressing winter

WINTER is on its way, with a massive gas crunch looming as elevated global LNG prices have eroded the cash-strapped...
Great expectations
29 Sep, 2022

Great expectations

CONSIDERING that the Afghan Taliban have been in the saddle for over a year now, the UN has expressed frustration...
The whole truth
28 Sep, 2022

The whole truth

THE war on truth has never been more relentless than it is today. Authoritarianism is on the rise and purveyors of...
Real-world trolls
Updated 28 Sep, 2022

Real-world trolls

It's reprehensible how PTI supporters now seem convinced that politicians from opposing camps aren't entitled to basic dignity.
Islamabad wildlife
28 Sep, 2022

Islamabad wildlife

PRESERVING biodiversity is low on the list of priorities of both state and society. However, successful attempts at...