ISLAMABAD: In a major setback, the country on Thursday reported over 3,000 cases of Covid-19 after a gap of over four months, with the national positivity rate showing an extraordinary nine-fold increase in just one month.
The positivity ratio, which was 0.69 per cent on December 13, 2021, rose to 6.12pc during the last 24 hours. Karachi reported 20.45pc positivity, Lahore 10.7pc, Rawalpindi 7.35pc, Islamabad 6.3pc, Gilgit 5.88pc and Gujrat 5.81pc.
Meanwhile, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has tested positive for Covid-19.
According to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 3,019 cases and five deaths were reported, with 651 patients on critical care, across the country over the past 24 hours.
3,019 cases, five deaths reported across country in a single day
Earlier, 3,152 cases were reported on September 11, 2021.
It is worth mentioning that the first case of Omicron variant of Covid-19 was detected on December 13 in Karachi and since then the number of cases and positivity ratio has been increasing across the country.
According to the World Health Organisation, Omicron has been detected in around 100 countries and Covid-19 cases involving the variant are doubling every 1.5 to three days in places with community transmission and not just infections acquired abroad.
Shafqat Mahmood confirmed his infection on social media. “I have unfortunately tested positive for coronavirus. My symptoms are mild so far and I feel fine. Hopefully with some rest will recover soon. Please continue to take all precautions specially wearing a mask at all times,” the minister tweeted.
Member of the Scientific Task Force on Covid-19 Dr Javed Akram, while talking to Dawn on Wednesday, had said the surge in Covid-19 cases was not unexpected as people were suffering from “pandemic fatigue” and had given the virus every chance to transmit and mutate. He urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible as ‘Deltacron’, which includes qualities of both Delta and Omicron variants of coronavirus, has been reported in Cyprus and it would sooner or later reach Pakistan.
“I suggest people wear masks and control comorbidities (more than one illness) such as sugar and blood pressure levels. They should not go out in extreme weather such as early morning and late night. They should ensure that their drivers, watchmen, cooks and maids are vaccinated because they can become carriers of the virus,” Dr Akram had said.
The NCOC data showed that 165,296,972 doses of vaccine have been administered, with over 100 million people having received at least one dose of vaccine and 75,686,387 fully vaccinated.
Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2022