A man takes selfie with a decorated bull while he visits a cattle market to buy animals for on the eve of Eid Al Adha, in Peshawar,. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: With little regard for COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), people across Pakistan spent the second day of Eid Al Adha in partying, sight-seeing and picnicking, three important rituals associated with the religious festival.

While doing so, they ignored the caution by the health authorities that this Eid could prove fatal with regard to spread of COVID-19 across the country.

The cases are continuing to pile up because of SOP violations as people visited cattle markets to buy sacrificial animals and shopping centres without taking precautionary measures.

This is quite risky and could ruin all the efforts the health teams made in the past to check spread of COVID-19, said the District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia.

In Islamabad alone, the positivity rate stood at 8.96 per cent which is the highest in last few months, said Dr Zia.

He urged the people to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 and avoid large gatherings.

Dr Zaeem Zia cautioned that Delta cases of COVID-19 were spreading fast in Islamabad and it would be advisable to wear face masks, maintain social distance, and follow SOP.

According to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC), the number of actives cases crossed the 50,000-mark on Thursday, 52,752 such cases were reported. (The number of confirmed cases minus the number of recovered cases and deaths will give the number of active cases.)

As per the NCOC statistics, during the last 24 hours, 40 deaths and 2,158 new cases were reported across the country. Also, 34,216 tests were conducted during the same period and the positivity rate remained over six per cent. The current positivity rate stands at 6.30 per cent.

The overall death toll due to COVID-19 in the country has now reached 22,928 while the tally of cases since the pandemic breakout last year has climbed to 998,609. The number of the recovered patients so far stands at 922,929.

During the last 24 hours alone, 895 persons recovered, the NCOC data says. According to the Ministry of the National Health Services, more than 450,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 on the day prior to Eid.

Vaccination centres across the country were closed for only one day (July 21) on account of Eid and all have resumed services on Thursday.