Covid-19 cases increase as winter begins

Published November 19, 2021
A health worker receives a dose of Sinopharm's coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — Reuters/File
A health worker receives a dose of Sinopharm's coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre in Peshawar. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: As the arrival of winter has increased the rate of Covid-19 infections in several countries, Pakistan’s positivity rate, which remained less than one per cent for the past six days, went up to 1pc on Thursday.

According to data of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 460 people were infected with Covid-19 and 10 died over the past 24 hours.

The data showed that Pakistan had experienced less than 1pc positivity rate — 0.94pc — on November 8 for the first time since the pandemic hit the country in February 2020.

The positivity rate has remained below 1pc since November 12, but Thursday’s data showed that the positivity ratio had gone up to 1.11pc.

460 people infected, 10 die in single day

Similarly, the number of cases, which stood at 391 on November 11, dropped to 263 on Nov 13 and went further down to 216 on Nov 15.

It again started increasing and the data released on Thursday showed that 460 people were infected with the deadly virus.

The data further showed that the number of active cases was 22,501 out of which 1,087 patients were admitted to hospitals on Thursday.

Talking to Dawn, microbiologist Prof Dr Javaid Usman said that a decrease in the temperature was the only reason for the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

“Cases have already started incre­asing in China, Russia and Europe. Austria is on the verge of lockdown. It is happening just because of arrival of the winter season,” he said.

When asked how winter increased the spread of the virus, Prof Usman said that during the winter season daylight remained for a short time and decrease in the temperature increased the number of cases.

“People keep their windows closed during winter and spend more time indoor due to which inter-human contact duration increases and the virus does not get the chance to go out. Because of lack of ventilation chances of infections go up. Viruses of influenza and corona family have similar symptoms and both become more active during winters,” he said.

Talking about Pakistan, Dr Usman said this year the winter had arrived a bit earlier due to which a sudden increase in Covid-19 cases had been noted.

“I would suggest to the masses to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures and maintain social distance so that the rate of infection goes down again,” he said.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2021

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