ISLAMABAD: Three people lost their lives to Covid-19, whereas 628 more cases were reported over the past 24 hours, data showed on Monday.

According to data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), over 19,000 tests were conducted while the national positivity rate stood at 3.32 per cent. As many as 163 patients were in critical care.

Although the city-wise data showed a double-digit positivity rates, low testing in some cities has significantly skewed the data.

The positivity rate in Nowshera was 33.33pc; however, only three tests were conducted, of which one was found positive. Swabi also showed a similar result, with 30pc positivity rate from a mere 10 tests.

Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi were the only cities in which over a thousand tests were conducted.

The most number of tests — 5,389 — were conducted in Karachi, where 80 people tested positive for the coronavirus, showing a positivity rate of 1.4pc.

Pakistan has reported over 620 cases every day for the past 10 days with the exception of Aug 3 when 392 cases were reported.

Fearing an uptick in the number of cases, the NCOC had issued fresh guidelines for Muharram and urged the people to strictly adhere to the SOPs.

In a specific reference to public gatherings and processions being held in connection with Muharram, the authority asked people to strictly use face masks and sanitiser.

The use of masks and sanitiser has been made mandatory for the participants of majalis and processions, the NCOC added.

According to it, only vaccinated people would be allowed to attend majalis which would be held in open spaces with adequate ventilation arrangements.

Besides, social distancing must be maintained during congregations and processions, while old people and children should refrain from attending gathering with huge crowds.

Last month, Karachi saw an uptick in the number of cases amid Eidul Azha celebrations and relentless monsoon rains. On July 12, the positivity rate in the country’s financial capital, reached alarming levels to come in at 39.5pc.

The country feared a renewed wave of the virus in June when the number of cases began increasing. However, authorities have said that the situation was currently under control due to a robust vaccination drive all over the country.

So far, 287,848,376 doses of vaccine have been administered all over the country As many as 138,476,803 citizens have got the first dose while 129,921,311 have become fully vaccinated. data showed.

Moreover, 37,581,886 people have been inoculated with boos­ter shots as well.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2022

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