Days away from Eidul Azha, the fourth wave of Covid appears to be settling in as Pakistan recorded 2,545 cases on Thursday, a massive 28.5% increase from the 1,980 cases reported a day ago.
This is the first time the country has reported more than 2,500 infections since May 29, when 2,697 cases were reported.
According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 48,910 tests have been performed in the past 24 hours, of which 2,545 have tested positive. The total number of cases has risen to 981,392 and the death toll is 22,689.
The positivity rate also climbed to 5.2% from 4.17pc a day earlier. The last time the positivity rate crossed 5pc was on May 23, when it was recorded at 5.22pc.
Positivity rate in different cities:
Gilgit: 23.17 pc Skardu: 21.26 pc Muzaffarabad: 21.03 pc Karachi: 19.29 pc Rawalpindi: 11.97 pc Peshawar: 9.4 pc Islamabad: 6.2 pc Lahore: 3.8 pc
Giving a breakdown of the data, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, said “the number of Covid-19s continues to rise” in the country. “Use masks (even if you are vaccinated), avoid crowds,” he advised, urging citizens to get vaccinated.
Expressing concern, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar said a rapid build-up was starting to occur in the influx of Covid-19 and intensive care patients in hospitals.
“The Indian variant has wreaked havoc in countries in the region. Please follow the SOPs and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do not risk your life and the lives of others,” he urged.
The overnight increase in cases comes as authorities sounded the alarm bells in recent weeks about a fourth wave fueled by the Delta variant, first detected in India. Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had clearly warned of an impending fourth wave, calling the Delta variant the greatest concern.
The concerns were then echoed by Umar, who said there were clear signs of a fourth wave of Covid-19 starting in Pakistan. The day before, the Minister of Special Initiatives shared a Bloomberg article on the coronavirus situation in India and the economic toll of the population.
“It’s the devastation Covid can cause if you don’t make the right decisions at the right time,” the minister tweeted.
In addition, more than 40 cases of the Delta variant have been reported in Karachi during the current month while the positivity rate in the metropolis has also skyrocketed. The Sindh government on Wednesday reimposed coronavirus restrictions in the province, closing schools and dining indoors, with Karachi’s positivity rate recorded at 17.11 pc.
Additional contribution from Ikram Junaidi
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