The coronavirus pandemic situation is getting worse days after Eidul Azha as the national positivity ratio hit the highest level in more than two months on the back of over 10% rate in at least 6 most populous districts of the country, data showed on Monday.
The single-day tally of the fresh Covid cases topped 3,500 after many weeks, pushing the number of active cases in the country close to 58,000, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the nerve centre of the government’s anti-pandemic strategy.
The national positivity ratio of 7.51% is the highest since May 19. Experts attribute the surge to the violation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) during Eidul Azha. They pointed out that the ratio was increasing in 24 major cities, including in 5 districts where the rate exceeded 10%.
Karachi, Pakistan’s financial hub and the most populous city in the country, is the worst-affected, where the Covid positivity ratio was 24.82% on Monday. This is followed by 19.76% in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, which went to legislative assembly elections on Sunday.
The other three cities where the positivity ratio was more than 10% were Rawalpindi, 18.59%; Skardu in Gilgit-Baltistan, 14.66%; and Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12.41%. The federal capital Islamabad recorded 10.95% positivity ratio.
The other cities where a surge has been witnessed in the Covid positivity ratio include Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, 8.54%; Abbottabad, 7.95%; Nowshera 7.20; Hyderabad 6.34%; Lahore, 5.64%; Swabi, 4.60%; Quetta, 4.46; and Mardan, 4.06.
The NCOC said in its daily update that the national tally of active Covid-19 cases rose to 57,799 on Monday, as 3,752 more people tested positive for the virus while 1,641 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours.
It added that the number of patients in hospitals topped some 3,000, including 2,677 patients under treatment in critical condition, with 277on ventilators. According to the NCOC, 104 patients were brought to the hospitals during the past 24 hours.
The update said that 32 corona patients, of them 31 in hospitals, including 21 on ventilators, died during the past 24 hours, raising the nationwide death toll to 23,048. Most of the deaths in the past 24 hours, 19, occurred in Sindh, followed by 5 in Punjab.
The national caseload since the disease broke out in the country in February 2020, rose to 1,008,446. Of them 927,599 people had made full recovery, depicting a significant recovery ratio of more than 90%, the NCOC said.
Sounding alarm over the dramatic increase in cases, President Dr Arif Alvi urged the masses to "get serious". "Cases have shot up post-Eid. I was expecting and warning about it as I saw carelessness in streets, bazaars, weddings and mosques," he said.
He also urged the people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones. "Don't let the recent gains towards stability [be] sacrificed on the altar of neglect. You are a rising nation, so the important test is to 'rise to the occasion'," he said.
Meanwhile, another batch of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and a consignment of the CanSino vaccine reached Pakistan on Monday. Health ministry officials confirmed that 3 million doses of the Moderna had reached Islamabad under the COVAX programme.
COVAX has pledged free COVID-19 vaccines for 20% of Pakistan's population. So far, Pakistan has received four consignments of various coronavirus vaccines under the COVAX programme. They include shipments of the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Also on Monday, the officials said, 200,000 more doses of the CanSino vaccine reached Pakistan, according to the spokesperson of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The NDMA spokesperson said the vaccine doses had been handed over to the health ministry.
(WITH INPUT FROM APP)
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