Over 1m people have recovered from the virus
The total number of fatalities from the novel coronavirus in Pakistan reached 24,783 Friday morning, according to the National Command and Operation Centre.
So far, more than a million people have recovered from the deadly virus. In the last 24 hours, over 3,200 new cases were reported, while 70 people succumbed to the virus. The infection rate in the country was reported 6.23%.
Experts have warned that Pakistan is battling the fourth wave of the deadly virus. Most of the new cases are of the Delta variant.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus, also known as the Indian variant, has spread to more than 70 countries. It was first detected in India in December 2020. It is highly transmissible and appears to be more severe.
The emergence of this variant “is a serious cloud on the horizon”, says Bill Hanage, an associate professor at Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “Delta is bad; even if we don’t know exactly how bad; recent work has pegged it at maybe 40% more transmissible than the variant we’ve been dealing with until recently.”
The variant appears to cause severe symptoms such as:
• Stomach pain
• Loss of appetite
• Hearing loss
• Joint pain
Other symptoms include skin rash, change in the colour of toes, sore throat, shortness of breath, as well as loss of smell, diarrhea, headache, and runny nose.
According to Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid, cases of the Epsilon variant have been reported in the province.
The new strain was first reported in California in 2020 and was declared a Variant of Concern by the US Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) after it observed a spike in its cases.
Studies reveal it is 20% more transmissible than other coronavirus variants. In June, about 1% of the total Covid-19 cases in the US were from the Epsilon variant, The Independent reported. The variant has been reported in at least 34 other countries after it was reported in the US.
According to NCOC, over 44 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country. Last week, SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan urged people to get their second shot without waiting for the government message.
“Partially vaccinated Pakistanis are at three times more risk of contracting coronavirus as compared to fully vaccinated people,” he said.
The government recently reduced the gap between both shots from 42 days to 28 days.
China has announced that the first batch of vaccines provided to COVAX will soon be shipped to Pakistan. “China will donate $100 million to the COVAX Facility for distributing vaccines to developing countries. Our commitment: making vaccines a global public good, and put Pakistan as our priority,” Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong tweeted.