ISLAMABAD: Officials of the capital administration on Thursday said so far 32 Omicron cases have been reported in Islamabad and they may increase in the coming days.

People have been advised to receive booster shots and strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

They said they had been observing the situation closely so that all necessary steps could be taken to prevent further spread of the variant, they added.

Islamabad and Rawalpindi districts have reported 31 and 11 fresh cases of Covid-19 whereas three patients were discharged from Rawalpindi hospitals. On the other hand, the District Health Authority (DHA) of Rawalpindi on Thursday sent 30 suspected samples to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for detection of the variant.

30 samples from Rawalpindi sent to NIH for detection of Omicron variant

Positivity ratio in the capital was 0.6pc while in Rawalpindi district, it rose to 0.8pc from 0.5pc. A total of 1,360 samples were sent for testing out of which, 11 turned out to be positive, the DHA officials said.

So far 108,565 residents of the capital contracted the virus, out of which 107,347 recovered and 967 passed away. There are 251 active cases of Covid-19 in the capital currently, they added.

Talking to Dawn, DHA (Rawalpindi) spokesman Dr Waqar Ahmed said the number of the Covid-19 patients was increasing in the district as compared to last month. “We collected samples of 30 suspected Omicron patients and sent them to NIH for serology and the reports will arrive in a day or two”, he said, adding an awareness campaign to educate people about the virus was also started.

He said everyone should wear a face mask and continue maintaining social distance, adding, so far 70pc of the population in the district had been vaccinated. The 30pc unvaccinated persons could become a major source of Omicron spread.

The health authority recommended to the district administration to enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said that it was the responsibility of the people to adopt safety measures and protect lives of their near and dear ones.

In Rawalpindi district, there are 83 active patients. As many as 21 are in hospitals and 62 patients are home isolated. Eight patients arrived from city areas and one patient from cantonment areas while two patients each arrived from Bahawalnagar and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), respectively.

There are 21 patients admitted in different hospitals of Rawalpindi city including two in Benazir Bhutto Hospital, five in Fauji Foundation Hospital, 13 in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) while one patient is admitted in Attock Hospital.

Two patients are on ventilators in Rawalpindi, eight are on oxygen support and 13 are stable.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2021

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