Notes from the newsroom
Here are some of the stories we will be following today, Sunday, January 9, 2022.
The cases of the new coronavirus variant Omicron are increasing at a scaringly fast rate in Pakistan, especially Karachi. The infection rate in the city has surpassed 10% within a week. The Sindh government has, however, debunked rumours of a lockdown in Karachi. Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho says the decision for a lockdown will be taken after reviewing the hospitalisation rate.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, 26 students of Lahore’s King Edward Medical College tested positive for coronavirus as the positivity rate in the city rose to 6.3%. According to university officials, students who tested positive were living in the hostel and have been isolated.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecast rain in multiple cities, especially in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, today. “Widespread rain with snowfall over the hills is expected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad, upper/central Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Kashmir. Heavy rain/hailstorm is expected at isolated places during the period,” it tweeted Saturday.
Heavy snowfall and blizzards brought life to a standstill in Murree Friday night. At least 22 tourists stuck in cars froze to death. The Met Office has blamed the fatalities. The department’s DG said that the weather forecast was out on December 31 but appropriate measures were not taken. The Pakistan Army and Disaster Management Authority are conducting a rescue operation in the area.
The government has banned the entry of tourists in Naran, Shogran, and Kaghan after heavy snowfall was forecast in the destinations. According to the notification from the office of Deputy Commissioner Mansehra, Tehsil Balakot, Naran, Kaghan and Shogran have been closed for all kinds of traffic due to the extreme weather conditions.