Thursday Jul 15, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan Thursday said the upcoming Eid-ul-Adha festival will be in a "limited, closed" environment, hinting at more restrictions to curb the virus spread amid fears of fourth wave.
The minister was speaking on Geo Pakistan where he spoke about the spike in coronavirus cases and the measures being taken by the federal government.
When asked whether Eid-ul-Adha in Pakistan will be observed in a lockdown-type situation, the minister responded by saying that the festival should be celebrated in a "limited, closed" environment.
He spoke about the new Delta variant of the coronavirus, saying that the mutations in each new variant of the virus make it very easy to "jump from one person to another".
"This variant is spreading at a pace of 50-60%," he said.
Speaking about the importance of the coronavirus vaccines, Dr Sultan said the present COVID-19 vaccines work on all types of variants of the virus.
He said, however, that each vaccine has an efficacy rate and that it is possible that people who have been previously vaccinated can contract the virus again.
Dr Sultan said that as per data collected by the NCOC, it is evident that the fourth wave of the coronavirus is starting in Pakistan. He said after a decline in the number of cases of the infection, large cities like Karachi were reporting high positivity ratios.
When asked to identify the main cause of the cases spiking in Pakistan, the prime minister's aide said people were tired of business activities shutting down again and again due to the different waves of the infection. He said as a result, many people forego wearing masks and taking other precautions, which leads to a spike in cases of the infection.
"However, we must keep in mind that coronavirus vaccines are the most effective weapons against the coronavirus," he said, adding that every person must at least get one dose of the vaccine.
Answering a question about the coronavirus vaccination certificate, Dr Sultan said the government has established a portal that would help solve people's problems related to obtaining certificates.
He said from August, people will be required to show coronavirus vaccine certificates if they wished to travel within Pakistan.
NCOC chief Asad Umar on Thursday warned that a "rapid build up" was being witnessed in coronavirus patients and those in critical care.
"This Indian variant has caused devastation in countries in the region. Please follow sop's and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Do not risk your own & others lives," he tweeted.
Pakistan's coronavirus positivity rate crossed 5% after almost a month Thursday morning as the country continues to report a spike in its daily case count.
On May 24 this year, Pakistan had recorded a 5.21% coronavirus positivity ratio, according to the NCOC data. Currently, the infection rate stands at 5.52%.
The NCOC's data from Thursday shows that 48,910 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours and 2,545 of them came back positive for coronavirus.
With 47 new fatalities from the virus, the national death tally soared to 22,689.
The country's active number of cases crossed the 40,000 mark a day earlier and currently stand at 42,330.
According to the official portal, the number of recoveries from coronavirus in the country has reached 916,373 and the total number of confirmed cases has reached 981,392.