Covid-19 positive rises to 21.23 percent in Karachi

As cases of Covid-19 reappear across Pakistan, the positive rate in Karachi, the country’s financial hub, reached a frightening 21.23 percent on Thursday.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said that 53 metropolis residents tested positive for the virus on June 16. Nonetheless, the number of cases doubled within a week, with 138 individuals testing positive in the city on June 22. (Wednesday).

According to the NCOC, Karachi has reported the country’s greatest number of Covid cases. In contrast, Abbottabad reported the second-highest positive cases at 8.7 percent. Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir’s Mirpur also said infection rates were greater than 2 percent.

The nation detected 268 new Covid cases on Thursday, marking the second consecutive day of more than 200 daily cases. The positive national rate was at 2.14 percent. In the past twenty-four hours, the infection has claimed the life of one individual.

NCOC meeting

Yesterday, an NCOC meeting reported that 85 percent of the eligible population was fully vaccinated, and 93 percent was partially vaccinated. In addition, 100 percent of the eligible population in Sindh had been vaccinated.

The conference, led by Federal Minister of National Health Services (NHS) Abdul Qadir Patel in Islamabad, urged all provinces and areas to administer booster doses urgently to enhance protection against Covid transmission further.

“In light of the global pandemic crisis, the Central Health Establishment (CHE) shall closely monitor the health of incoming travelers at entry ports. “The CHE will be bolstered to improve its functionality,” Patel stated.

The CHE monitors domestic and international health-related developments, publishes advisories, and takes measures to prevent the spread of disease.

The minister emphasized the significance of safeguards such as social separation and mask use, particularly in crowded areas. He also emphasized the necessity to adhere to the market management standards for Eidul Azha carefully.

Dread of the sixth wave

Dr. Saeed Khan, professor of molecular pathology and director of the Sindh Public Health Lab at the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), told Dawn that a new variant, BA.5, that is rapidly spreading in other countries has been reported in Pakistan, including Karachi, and is now being transmitted locally.

“While other [old] sub-variants of Omicron are also being detected in Karachi, this one is more contagious because it’s new and has caused concern in other areas of the world,” he added, adding that the unvaccinated, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems were especially susceptible.

“If we don’t listen medical advice and begin implementing Covid-related preventive measures seriously, the increase in cases could become the sixth coronavirus epidemic,” he warned.

According to Dr. Khan, the rapid proliferation of the variations has numerous causes. “They are genetically distinct, which aids in their rapid transmission. Other factors include decreasing vaccine immunity after six months, public unwillingness to receive a booster dose, and the absence of Covid-19 preventative measures in public settings.”