Pakistan witnesses 7.8% surge in COVID-19 positivity rate

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Pakistan is seeing an alarming surge in Coronavirus positivity rate amid efforts to combat pandemic

In the past few weeks, Pakistan has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the COVID-19 positivity rate amid the ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic crisis. On Thursday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Pakistan has spiked to 7.8 percent due to a constant surge in the number of infected cases. Pakistan’s health professionals have expressed severe concerns regarding the emergence of the third wave of Coronavirus in the country.

Taking note of the looming health crisis, authorities have called on the public to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curtail the rising number of infected cases. Earlier this month, the NCOC reimposed several pandemic-related restrictions as the number of positive cases continues to surge in the country. Partial lockdown was also imposed in various provinces, along with closure of schools and educational institutions.

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According to the data released by NCOC, Sindh is the worst-hit province by COVID-19 in terms of infected cases, followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, who is supervising the battle against COVID-19 in Pakistan, also issued a warning that any negligence in compliance with SOPs can result in stricter restrictions by the authorities on daily activities. He noted that due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, hospital daily admissions and people in critical care have also increased.

Speaking to the media, Sajid Hussain Shah, spokesperson of the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations, asserted that the authorities are taking all necessary safety measures to control the infections. He added that public support and cooperation in adhering to COVID-19 precautionary protocols is necessary to effectively fight the virus surge and combat the pandemic.

“We request the public to strictly follow health guidelines for their own benefit,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has kick-started the second phase of Coronavirus vaccination campaign in the country, by administering China’s Sinopharm vaccine to eligible senior citizens above the age of 60. As the vaccination efforts are underway, Pakistan on Wednesday received a second shipment of Sinopharm vaccine with 500,000 doses from China. At the same time, the first shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine with 50,000 doses also arrived in Karachi on Wednesday night. Health authorities have affirmed that the vaccines will be provided to all authorised hospitals and medical institutions for administration to targeted members of the community.

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