Jan 13, 2022: Figures from the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) showed Thursday morning that for the first time since September 15, 2021, more than 3,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in Pakistan.
The NCOC data shows that 3,019 more cases were registered in the country in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 1.31 million. The positive rate has reached 6.12% – the highest in more than four months, as the infection rate was last higher on September 8, 2021.
This is the highest positivity ratio since September 8 when the level stood at 6.43%, while the country last reported over 3,000 cases on September 10 when 3,480 tested positive for Covid-19.
In the past 24 hours, five deaths were also recorded, which took the death toll to 28,992, according to official figures.
Meanwhile, Karachi’s positive ratio crossed 20% on Wednesday. According to the provincial health ministry, 1,223 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the city after testing on 6,048 samples. “The proportion of Omicron variants reported in Karachi has reached 95%,” they said.
Earlier, the Sindh Health Department had decided to make face mask mandatory for all citizens in Karachi in view of the fast growing number of cases of Omicron variant of Covid-19.
The meeting, chaired by provincial health minister Azra Pechoho, also decided to seal shopping malls and schools if non-vaccinated people were found on the premises. The meeting also decided to launch a special corona vaccination campaign for 14 days.
Although the center had rejected the lockdown and closure of schools, the Federal Ministry of Education and Vocational Training announced on Wednesday that a meeting of provincial education ministers would be held today (Thursday) to discuss the issue. It remains to be seen whether the current situation of COVID-19 in the province guarantees the closure of schools in the country.
Federal Minister for Education and Vocational Training Shafqat Mahmood will preside over the 34th Inter-Provincial Conference of Ministers of Education (IPEMC) in which a number of issues will be considered.
Briefing the media about the decisions taken at his weekly meeting of the federal cabinet on Tuesday, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that Pakistan would not go through another lockdown and despite increasing cases of corona virus. The minister rejected reports of school closures.
The Information Minister had said that the Federal Cabinet had been informed that the COVID-19 positive ratio had doubled in the country. “Nevertheless, it is our commitment that we will not lock down Pakistan at all. Our economy cannot bear the burden of [another lockdown],” he said.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s data showed that the Punjab provincial capital, Punjab, has seen an increase in the COVID-19 positive ratio after the positivity ratio was over 7%. In addition, Islamabad and Rawalpindi reported 4% positivity in each.
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