Amid Eidul Azha celebrations and relentless monsoon rains, Covid-19 cases across the country are resurging, with the positivity rate in the country's financial capital, Karachi, reaching alarming levels to come in at 39.46 per cent on Tuesday.
According to data from the National Institute of Health (NIH), 408 tests were conducted in the metropolis in the last 24 hours, of which 161 came out to be positive. The department said that Karachi reported the highest positivity rate followed by Islamabad, where the Covid-19 ratio clocked in at 7.69pc.
Other cities that reported an infection rate of over 2pc included Lahore, Hyderabad, and Peshawar.
Read more: A safe Eid
Overall, the country detected 255 new Covid cases on Tuesday and the nationwide positivity rate stood at 5.46pc. In the last 24 hours, one person lost their life from the virus while 141 patients remained in critical care.
Earlier, the NIH had urged citizens to ensure the implementation of Covid precautionary measures during the festivities such as wearing masks, six-foot social distancing and proper sanitisation.
A recent Dawn report said that the city-wise positivity ratio data presented an ambiguous picture as high ratios don’t necessarily point toward an outbreak.
Experts fear 'rapid increase' in virus
Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor of Health Services Academy, Professor Dr Shahzad Ali Khan, has expressed fear that Covid cases may rapidly increase during the upcoming religious events of Eidul Azha and Muharram-ul-Haram.
“People should strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures so that the pace of increase in cases could be controlled as it directly affects the occupancy rate of beds in hospitals,” he said, adding that if the number of cases continued to increase on a daily basis, there would be more admissions in the hospitals.
Dr Khan, who is also a member of the NCOC, said if the two religious events passed without witnessing any increase in cases, the country may not have the sixth wave of Covid-19.
Last week, the NCOC advised travelers to exercise caution, check weather forecasts and pre-book their hotel accommodations during the Eid holidays. Tourists have been advised to wear face masks, use hand sanitisers and avoid going to crowded places and maintain social distancing.
“It should be made sure that all tourists [are] vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated, should go for the booster dose,” the advisory stated.
Tourists should check weather predictions and confirm hotel bookings before traveling. “As hotels and restaurants ... remain jam-packed during Eid holidays, make sure that your residence is already booked and you have edible items [to] use in case of prolonged stay,” it stated.