ISLAMABAD: As the country reported 8,183 cases of coronavirus on Friday — the highest in a single day since the pandemic hit Pakistan in February 2020 — the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced extending the existing Covid-related restrictions till February 15.
The country had last time reported 7,678 coronavirus cases, the second highest, in a single day on January 20 this year. The first year of Covid-19 outbreak in Pakistan saw the highest number of 6,825 people infected with the virus in a single day on June 13, 2020.
In a tweet, the NCOC announced that existing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which were imposed till January 31, have been extended till February 15. As per the announcement, a fresh review will be carried out on February 10. All federating units are requested to issue notifications and disseminate them to all concerned on a priority basis, it added.
In another tweet, the NCOC urged the people to get booster dose of vaccine against the deadly virus. “Omicron variant continues spreading countrywide. Please ensure you are fully vaccinated, received booster dose (if eligible) and follow SOPs including mask wearing and social distancing. Take special care of elderly as admissions and mortality rate is higher in older people,” it said.
NCOC extends Covid-related curbs till Feb 15
The national positivity rate rose to 11.92 per cent with 68,624 tests conducted during the last 24 hours. Thirty deaths were reported on Friday. According to the NCOC, the number of active cases rose to 98,221, while 961 patients were in critical care.
The NCOC data showed that Peshawar had the highest positivity rate of 29.65pc in the country on Friday, followed by 27.92pc in Karachi, 26.40pc in Muzaffarabad, 22.73pc in Mardan, 20.59pc in Hyderabad, 20.58pc in Lahore, 18.23pc in Gilgit, 17.13pc in Islamabad, 17.01pc in Nowshera, 12.93pc in Abbottabad, 11.21pc in Swabi and 11.04pc in Mirpur.
During the last 24 hours, most deaths were reported in Sindh where 20 people lost their lives, followed by six in Punjab, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The total number of coronavirus cases has so far risen to 1,402,070, with 29,192 fatalities. Another 1,786 people have recovered from coronavirus, taking the tally to 1,274,657.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services urged citizens to get vaccinated and wear face masks. “As Omicron variant surges, we are seeing a drastic increase in the number of Covid-19 cases this month,” it said.
Earlier this week, the NCOC banned indoor gatherings, weddings and dining in districts and cities with over 10pc positivity rate as part of new curbs meant to tackle the fifth wave.
Pakistan has also started administering booster doses to the population. Earlier, people who were 30 years or older and immunocompromised individuals above 12 years of age could receive a booster dose. However, the NCOC later reduced the age limit, allowing citizens over 18 to receive booster jabs.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022