Tuesday Jan 18 2022

Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio nears 10% as provinces get ready to impose new curbs

  • Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio reaches 9.45%.
  • Karachi reports highest COVID-19 infection rate at 38.79%
  • Provinces set to enforce new SOPs soon.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio has almost reached 10% in the last 24 hours, a day after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced that provinces would impose new SOPs in the next 48 hours.

As many as 5,034 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours after 53,253 tests were conducted across the country, taking the positivity ratio to 9.45%, according to NCOC's Tuesday morning data.

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The positivity ratio was the highest since May 8, 2021, while the daily infections were last registered below 5,034 on August 5, 2021 at 4,745 case.

The country also registered 10 more deaths, bumping the death toll to 29,029, official figures showed, with overall cases reaching 1.33 million after the detection of fresh infections.

Infection rate in major cities

  • Karachi — 38.79%
  • Hyderabad — 14%
  • Lahore — 12.87%
  • Gujranwala — 15%
  • Nowshera — 10%
  • Islamabad — 8.86%
  • Rawalpindi — 7.60%
  • Peshawar — 7.24%

All provinces will impose a new set of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and COVID-19 SOPs amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the NCOC said in a statement after its Monday meeting.

The NCOC had called a meeting of provincial health and education ministers to decide the future of schools and new NPIs as the rising cases of Omicron variant worry the authorities.

The statement said the participants of the meeting discussed a new set of NPIs keeping in view the disease prevalence, following which, it was decided that the NPIs will be enforced by the provinces in the next 48 hours after consultative process with all stakeholders.

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Meanwhile, uncertainty prevailed for parents and students as the NCOC did not make a decision after its meeting on whether schools across the country will be closed or not, saying it will first look at the data of positivity rates of various institutions.

"Decision about education institutions will be taken on data of positive cases of various institutions for which massive testing in education institutions is being carried out," the NCOC had said.