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



Dark days
Updated 26 May, 2022

Dark days

The PTI, on its part, does not seem to have been prepared to face such a large deployment of state machinery.
26 May, 2022

No room for dissent

WHILE political turmoil roils the land, a number of incidents over the past few days have demonstrated that though...
26 May, 2022

Harassing passengers

REPORTS of the confiscation of personal items from passengers’ private luggage by customs officials at Karachi’s...
Back to bedlam
Updated 25 May, 2022

Back to bedlam

FEAR tactics have never worked in the past, and most likely will not this time either. The government’s ...
25 May, 2022

Balochistan blaze

THE forest fire on the Koh-i-Sulaiman range in Balochistan’s Shirani area is among a series of blazes to have...
25 May, 2022

Unequal citizens

INDIFFERENCE would have been bad enough, but the state’s attitude towards non-Muslims falls squarely in the...