—No decision on lockdown in Sindh, clarifies Murtaza
From Abid Usman & Zeeshan Mirza
LAHORE: Pakistan has reported 7 deaths in the last 24 hours by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 1,304,058. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 28,969 on Sunday.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) 1,572 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Till now 13,079 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 7,681 in Sindh 5,942 in KP, 967 in Islamabad, 747 in Azad Kashmir, 367 in Balochistan, and 186 in GB.
Furthermore 486,740 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 447,530 in Punjab 181,715 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 109,283 in Islamabad, 34,702 in Azad Kashmir 33,658 in Balochistan and 10,430 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Pakistan has so far conducted 23,802,570 coronavirus tests and 49,658 in the last 24 hours. 1,258,657 patients have recovered in the country whereas 604 patients are in critical condition.
The COVID-19 positivity ratio was recorded at 3.16 percent. So far, 99,454,273 people have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine including 310,114 in last 24 hours. 73,862,234 citizens have been fully vaccinated while 377,912 received their second dose in last 24 hours.
The number of total administered doses has reached to 162,115,885 with 706,192 in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab has said that the provincial government has not yet taken a decision regarding a lockdown in Sindh.
On Sunday, the coronavirus positivity rate in Karachi crossed 12 percent ringing alarm bells for authorities. According to the health department, Karachi has reported 633 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.
Experts have blamed the spur in the case on the new Omicron variant. The strain is highly-transmissible. It was first reported in Karachi on December `13. In a bid to counter its spread, the Sindh government, on Friday, made covid vaccination mandatory for students above or of the age of 12 years.
The situation is similar in Lahore. It has reported over 200 cases in the last 24 hours of which 21 were of Omicron. The Punjab government has imposed a emergency at hospitals across the province.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has been consecutively reporting more than 1,000 cases every day this week. The positivity rate, which has shrunk to zero last year, has now reached over 2%.
Health experts and the National Command and Operation Centre have urged people to get vaccinated. SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan says that’s our only defense against the virus.
Booster shots are now available for vaccinated people over the age of 30 as well.
Those people who got both doses of their coronavirus vaccine at least six months back are eligible for the booster jab.
The vaccine will be administered free of cost. Only Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Pfizer will be given as booster shots. In Sindh, the booster service will be available at only three vaccination centers in Karachi: Dow Ojha Campus, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, and Children Hospital in District Central.