Positivity ratio peaks at 7.46%

PM orders convening NCC meeting on Covid-19 to discuss counter measures

Our Correspondent November 23, 2020

Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio has jumped to 7.46%, the highest-ever level since the pandemic emerged in the country nine months ago, resulting in doubling of hospitalisation in the last two weeks.

Alarmed by the worrisome report presented in a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed for convening a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Covid-19 for consultation and decision-making on various issues.

Amid the second wave of the coronavirus, the government on Monday announced the closure of all educational institutions. It had already banned public gatherings as well as indoor weddings, while restricting the timing of various entertainment places.

Premier Imran chaired a high-level meeting on Monday. The meeting was attended by the federal ministers, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Shafqat Mahmood, Hammad Azhar, Shibli Faraz, Ijaz Shah and Asad Umar, who heads the NCOC – the nerve centre of the government’s unified effort against Covid-19.

Besides, prime minister’s special assistants Dr Sania Nishtar and Dr Faisal Sultan, and Adviser on Trade Razak Dawood were also present. Minister of State Ali Muhammad Khan was also in attendance.

Addressing the meeting, PM Imran stressed the need for taking all possible steps to curb the spread of the pandemic and saving lives. He directed for convening a meeting of the NCC on Covid-19 for consultation and decision-making on various issues.

The premier said that Pakistan overcame the pandemic in the first phase with its exemplary strategy and timely decisions, which are appreciated around the world. “We must not lose sight of the balance, seriousness and caution in the second phase,” he added.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed about the decisions taken by the NCOC. The prime minister also was apprised of various aspects of the disease, including the spread of virus, loss of precious lives due to the infection and the capacity of hospitals.

The NCOC is a body to implement the decisions of the NCC on Covid-19. Its official website states that the centre is a one-window operation to collate, analyse and process information based on digital input and human intelligence across Pakistan through dedicated representatives and centres.

On Monday, the data collected by the NCOC revealed that the positivity ratio has reached to 7.46% during the last 24-hour period – highest since the start of the pandemic in Pakistan. The centre also learned that due to the high positivity ratio, hospitalisation has doubled over the last two weeks.

The NCOC was informed that Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) had the highest Covid-19 positivity rate of 11.45%, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 9.85%, Sindh 9.63%, Islamabad 8.09%, Balochistan 7.73% and Gilgit-Baltistan 5.23%. Punjab has the lowest positivity rate in the country at 3.95%.

The NCOC noted that the highest increase in the number of cases had been recorded in Rawalpindi, Multan, Lahore and Faisalabad in Punjab; Karachi and Hyderabad in Sindh; Peshawar, Abbottabad and Swat in K-P; Mirpur in AJK; Gilgit and Islamabad.

The forum was also informed that the daily average of deaths due to the virus stood at 35, during the preceding week. An increase in the number of infections at educational institutes across the country was also reported.

The rate in educational institutions rose from 1.8 to 3.3% in last week — an increase of 82%. It was observed that of all the Covid-19 cases in educational institutions, 19% were recorded among students. As a result, the government decided to close all educational institutions from this week.

Daily update

The NCOC said in its daily update that the total active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan were recorded 38,348 as 2,756 more people were tested positive for the deadly virus during the last 24 hours, while 34 under treatment patients lost their lives.

The NCOC said that some 36,929 tests were conducted across the country on Sunday, including 11,439 in Sindh, 12,607 in Punjab, 5,099 in KP, 5,550 in Islamabad, 854 in Balochistan, 306 in G-B, and 1,074 in AJK.

Since the pandemic started, a total of 376,929 cases detected, while 330,885 people have recovered from the disease. It added that with 34 deaths – 26 in hospitals – the nationwide death toll stood at 7,696 on Sunday.


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