Three new variants detected in Pakistan
Karachi continues to battle Covid -19 as its positivity rate stands at 11% despite everyday vaccinations. It has reported 180,000 cases so far.
Government figures revealed that the East district reported the highest number of positive cases: 73,141. The West district has the lowest positivity rate with 16,839 cases. The Central and South districts have reported 50,000 to 30,000 total positive cases.
“Karachi is densely populated and the presence of crowded slums make it more prone to increase positivity rate than the rest of the country”, Qasim Soomro, the Sindh health secretary.
The secretary emphasised that Karachi is the biggest business centre in the country and it caters to millions of employed people working in poorly ventilated conditions.
“The government has recently relaxed its lockdown and allowed restaurants, bus services, and theatres to reopen with strict SOPs implementation”, he mentioned, adding that this had led to an increase in cases.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that eight more coronavirus patients died overnight, taking the provincial toll to 5,536 and 953 new cases emerged. The death rate is 1.6%.
He shared that 16,218 samples were tested and 953 cases were detected. So far, 4,596,490 tests have been conducted against which 342,211 cases were diagnosed, of them, 92.2% or 315,378 patients have recovered.
At present, 21,297 patients were under treatment, of them 20,581 were in home isolation, 60 at isolation centers, and 656 at different hospitals. He added that the condition of 656 patients was said to be critical, and 48 have been shifted to ventilators.
According to the statement, out of 953 new cases, 722 have been detected in Karachi, including 239 from East, 161 each in Central and South, 56 West, 55 Malir, and 50 Korangi.
Thatta reported 26 cases, Hyderabad and Sujawal 23 each, Tando Allahyar 14, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad and Mirpurkhas 11 each, Badin 10, Matiari nine, Sukkur eight, Jamshoro and Dadu six each, Khairpur five, Dadu three, Larkana two, Ghotki, Jacobabad, Naushehroferoze and Kashmore one each.
In Pakistan, cases of the virus were reported from China and Iran, while 10% of cases were linked to Western Europe circulation. The new wave is spreading more rapidly and cases are linked to new variants.
The country reported 25 new deaths and 830 cases in the last 24 hours. There are more than 30,000 active cases in Pakistan and among them, 74 are critical patients. The country has reported cases of Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants. The Alpha (UK), Beta (African) and Delta (Indian) variants have the highest infection rate as compared to the local variants.
“The only key to defeating the booming positives cases is getting vaccinated as soon as possible, following SOPs, wearing masks even after getting vaccinated,” said Dr Tipu Sultan, the former president of the Pakistan Medical council.
Soomro told SAMAA Digital that the government is planning to increase safe days to prevent a surge in positive cases during Eid holidays. Safe days refer to the step taken by the government to close shops, markets, and businesses on certain days. For example, in Sindh, markets and shops remained closed on Fridays and Sundays. The restriction has since been removed.
He also requested people to act responsibly by following SOPs and getting vaccinated as government cannot afford another lockdown.