KARACHI: With more than 40 per cent population still waiting for their first dose of vaccine, Karachi reported the highest ever daily count of confirmed Covid-19 cases during the past five months, including 40 of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, it emerged on Tuesday.
According to health department officials, the vaccination target has not been met as planned and 90 per cent of the patients currently being treated in the Covid-19 wards are those who did not opt for vaccination. According to official data, with 1,347 new cases in the province, 1,200 cases were detected in Karachi alone.
“Since August 11, 2021, today we have the highest number of 1,347 cases detected through 12,114 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests,” a statement released by the Chief Minister House said on Tuesday.
Strict enforcement of SOPs ordered
Realising the growing number of Covid cases, Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho chaired a meeting to share her concern over the fact that a significant number of people had not received their first dose yet.
The meeting decided a series of steps to make the vaccination campaign effective and that action would be taken against wedding halls, shopping malls and factories violating standard operating procedures.
With 40 new cases, Omicron detection rate stands at 95pc
However, the meeting failed short of deciding the nature of action to be taken against offenders.
The meeting decided a door-to-door vaccination micro-plan would be made to vaccinate people, particularly housewives, at home for which lady health visitors will be hired.
The first of the drive will cover Karachi, Sukkur and Larkana and the second to cover Karachi again, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad.
“There are hotspots of Covid infection and we need to plant our vaccination efforts accordingly. Law enforcement agencies and traffic police must be trained and directed to promote compliance of SOPs such as wearing of face masks,” she said.
She also instructed officials not to allow indoor activities or events if SOPs were not being followed and also monitor public.
According to the data shared in the meeting, 55.97pc population of the province have received their first dose whereas 39.52pc have received both vaccine doses.
In Karachi, 52.34pc of the eligible population has got the first vaccine dose while 42.47pc people have received both vaccine doses.
Nine die overnight
Also on Tuesday, the province reported nine deaths from the Covid-19 infection.
Forty-two samples were tested against which 40 more cases of the Omicron variant were detected, raising the tally to 407. The current detection rate of the Omicron variant constitutes 95pc, it added.
The district-wise breakdown of the data showed that the highest number of cases (440) were reported from district East followed by district South 363, district Central 210, Korangi 90, West 73 and Malir 24.
Hyderabad had 44 new cases, Jamshoro 14, Matiari 12, Thatta 10, Sanghar and Sujawal eight each, Mirpurkhas seven, Tando Muhammad Khan six, Umerkot five, Tando Allahyar three, Badin, Shaheed Benazirabad and Kashmore two each while one each case was reported from Dadu, Naushero Feroze and Khairpur.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2022