Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday recorded over 2,000 new coronavirus cases, the highest single-day tally since September 2021.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), after 44,120 tests were conducted in last 24 hours, 2,074 new cases were reported. The last time Pakistan had reported more than 2,000 cases was on September 23, 2021, (2,233). With a spike in number of cases, a surge in COVID-19 positivity has also been recorded - 4.70 per cent.
After the fresh rise in cases, the health authorities fear the fifth wave of coronavirus is intensifying in the country and there is a dire need to get vaccinated and follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). If the upward streak continues, it would cross 5 per cent in coming days, they said.
13 deaths in one day
The country recorded 13 deaths, which is again a disturbing figure as it was on December 17, 2021 that Pakistan had reported more deaths (14) in one day.
NCOC data also showed Karachi is emerging as the epicentre during the fifth wave and recorded 20.22 per cent positivity rate. This shows a marked difference from other cities as the positivity rate in Lahore was recorded at 7.15 per cent while Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s had 4.56 per cent and 4.06 per cent positivity, respectively.
A day earlier, Pakistan achieved the milestone of administering at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to over 100 million people; nearly 75 million have been fully vaccinated, which made 33 per cent of the total population and 49 per cent of eligible population.
“Work is not complete yet. Need to keep the momentum going,” the NCOC said in a statement.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also announced that Pakistan surpassed the milestone of administering at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to over 100 million people.
In a tweet, he said nearly 75 million were fully vaccinated. Describing it as another major milestone in the vaccination campaign, he said work is not complete yet and there is a need to keep the momentum going.
‘No more lockdowns’
The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has made it clear Pakistan will not go for lockdown even if the coronavirus situation turns grim.
“Pakistan would not undergo another lockdown,” said Chaudhry while talking to media persons and dismissed reports of schools’ closure amid rising cases.
Addressing a post-cabinet press conference, he said the federal cabinet was informed the COVID-19 positivity ratio had doubled in the country.
“It is our resolve that we will not impose a lockdown in Pakistan. Our economy cannot bear the burden of another lockdown,” he said.
The information minister said an excellent vaccination campaign was underway and the government had invested $2 billion in vaccines.
“Pakistan is a success story [when it comes to] dealing with coronavirus. We will not impose a lockdown. We will, however, monitor the situation,” said the minister. He urged the public to wear masks and follow coronaviris SOPs.