The Sindh health department on Tuesday dismissed a news report claiming that there had been an alarming jump in Karachi’s Covid-19 positivity rate, terming it to be “sensationalised”.

A Geo News report quoted an official from the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad as telling The News that the Covid-19 positivity rate in Karachi had reached 28.30 per cent after 30 out of 106 people screened for the viral infection tested positive. It did not mention the time period the data was taken.

The official also told the publication that cases had started rising in the country as 100 individuals had tested positive nationwide in the last 24 hours.

The provincial health department, however, issued a statement today from its Public Relations Officer Mehar Khursheed stating that the report was “sensationalising the positivity rate in Karachi”.

The department said that individuals undergoing Covid testing exhibited symptoms of the disease, thereby resulting in a higher rate of positivity.

“However due to the fact that most of the population has been successfully vaccinated against Covid, there are very few severe cases,” the statement said.

“It is still wise to practise caution and follow standard operating procedures. The general population should wear masks when visiting hospitals or in crowded places. People are encouraged to get booster doses to boost up the immunity against the virus and prevent the spread of infection,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the daily situation report issued by the Sindh health department on March 20 (Monday) stated that Karachi’s positivity rate was 4.69pc after 47 people tested positive from 1,003 tests conducted. It said that the average positivity rate in the province was 4.78pc.

However, this was a substantial decrease from the positivity rate of the last few days. On March 19, Karachi’s positivity rate was 35.38pc. The number of positive cases were approximately the same (46) but the number of tests were far lower (130). The overall positivity rate of the province came in at 35.88pc.

On March 18, Karachi’s positivity rate was 35.38pc after 47 people tested positive from 130 tests conducted. The overall positivity rate of the province came in at 35.88pc.

Last week, the Nat­ional Command and Ope­ration Centre (NCOC) recommended wearing of masks at cro­wded and tightly enclosed places and healthcare facilities.

According to the NCOC, guidelines were issued for a period of up to April 30, keeping in view the current Covid-19 trend in the country.

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