Pakistan reports slight slump in COVID-19 positivity rate
Tuesday Aug 02, 2022
ISLAMABAD: The positivity ratio dropped to 2.84% in the country, National Institute of Health (NIH) data showed Tuesday morning.
According to the NIH, 392 people were tested positive for COVID-19 after 13,822 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.
Following the detection of new cases, the COVID-19 positivity ratio declined to 2.84% from 3.35%, which was recorded a day earlier.
Meanwhile, two coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
According to the NIH data, 156 COVID-19 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units (ICU) at different medical facilities across the country.
Pakistanis advised to mask up
With Pakistan logging hundreds of COVID-19 cases every day, the NIH has advised strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), including mask wearing and social distancing during Muharram gatherings.
Gathering and majalis to remember the Shuhada-e-Karbala (martyrs of Karbala) have started as the country observes the new Islamic year — which began on Sunday.
What are the SOPs for Muharram?
NIH has restricted the elderly and children from attending the gatherings and majalis during Ashura in a COVID-safe manner, as the risk of another outbreak looms with an uptick of the virus across Pakistan.
Following are the guidelines for holding gatherings and processions
COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures i.e mask-wearing, social distancing and use of sanitisers/ hand washing should be adhered to
Organising committees should make arrangements for all SOPs
Zakirs and participants should be vaccinated against COVID-19
Venue for conduct of Majalis should be open and spacious with proper
Wearing of masks and maintenance of social distancing is mandatory during majalis and Processions. Availability of masks and sanitisers/ hand washes
Controlled participation according to capacity of venues and avoidance of overcrowding
Duration of majalis and processions should be curtailed
Majalis where SOPs cannot be effectively implemented such as
homes and private gatherings should be discouraged
Elderly above 65 years, children and co-morbid may be sensitized to
attend Majalis at home through live streaming
Proper arrangements for cleaning venues with chlorine before and after the events
Display of COVID-19 SOPs and precautions at prominent places
SOPs compliance by employing volunteer scouts
Arrangements for food and drinks in spacious and ventilated place.
Emphasis on use of disposable utensils; preference on pre-packaged boxes for distribution of food.
Avoiding overcrowding at food distribution points/locations.
No handshake and embracing.
Areas of focus
Some of the aspects meriting necessary actions at the federal and federating units level, include following:
Messaging by religious clerics for uniform implementation of SOPs /guidelines proposed by NCOC.
Strict enforcement of SOPs by civil administration.