Pakistan’s Covid-19 trajectory continues to come down

Published October 25, 2021
A health worker inoculates a student with a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a school in Lahore. — AFP/File
A health worker inoculates a student with a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a school in Lahore. — AFP/File

• Positivity rate recorded below 2pc for last nine days
• Number of active cases drops below 24,000
• 18 patients succumb to virus

ISLAMABAD: The country has been recording a positivity ratio of less than 2 per cent for the last nine days as a downward Covid-19 trajectory continues.

The infection rate in the last 24 hours remained 1.35pc. However, 18 patients also lost their battle against the virus during this period.

According to data shared by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 43,522 tests for coronavirus were conducted across the country in a single day out of which results of 591 people came back positive.

With the latest figures, the overall count of infected persons since the outbreak of the pandemic has reached 1,268,536 while the number of casualties has risen to 28,377.

The data further revealed that the number of active cases was also dropping, with 23,917 calculated on Sunday.

The figure of active patients had fallen below the 25,000 mark earlier this week after more than seven months. Similarly, the daily count of infections has also reduced to its lowest level.

On the other hand, the recovery rate among patients has been rising, with 1,216,242 people having defeated the virus till date. As per data, 100,016,587 doses of vaccines have been administered.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar had also urged partially vaccinated people to get completely inoculated at the earliest.

A few days ago, Mr Umar, who also heads the NCOC, called on the district administrations of Karachi, Hyderabad, Nowshera, Faisalabad, Quetta, Mingora and Mardan to expedite immunisation to avoid the fifth wave.

“To ensure there is no 5th wave of Covid we have to meet vaccination targets set. Otherwise despite sharp decline in cases we remain vulnerable, if number of people remain unvaccinated. Remember that 2nd dose is vital for protection against Covid. Get fully vaccinated,” the minister had tweeted.

The Punjab government, meanwhile, will be launching its door-to-door immunisation drive from Oct 25 to meet its 100pc vaccination target.

A notification issued by the provincial government said the campaign would continue till Nov 12 and the residents of Punjab’s 36 districts would be inoculated at their doorsteps during this period.

On Saturday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had announced that over 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in less than nine months.

In a video statement, he claimed that the pace of vaccination had risen and in the current month alone, up to one million doses were being administered on a daily basis.

“Another important thing was the documentation of vaccinated people for which National Immunisation Management System was developed with the support of the National Database and Registration Authority and information technology-related departments,” Dr Sultan stated.

Nearly a year after the outbreak of coronavirus that had claimed 11,746 lives and infected more than 500,000 people in the country till then, the government had commenced vaccination of frontline healthcare workers on Feb 2, with 50-year-old doctor, Prof Dr Rana Imran Sikander, becoming the first person to receive the vaccine. Later, it was extended to citizens over the age of 80 years.

The government has now reduced the age limit of eligible persons to 12 years.

Member Scientific Task Force on Covid-19 Dr Javed Akram, while talking to Dawn, had also announced that a virulent variant of Covid-19 called ‘Epsilon’ had been detected in the country.

“This variant had originated in California, which was why it was called the California strain or B.1.429,” Dr Akram said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan received cold chain optimisation equipment worth $6.59 million to enhance national capacity for Covid-19 vaccine storage.

The equipment had been funded by the Japanese government and procured through Unicef.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2021

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