PM Shehbaz Sharif urges NCOC to fully activate

Government and health officials discuss methods to contain the rising coronavirus cases

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed concern about the rise in coronavirus cases in Pakistan, calling for the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to “fully activate.”

Chairing an NCOC meeting at his office today with NCOC officials and the Ministry of Health, the PM ordered authorities to ensure that precautions are taken to inhibit the spread of the virus.

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He pondered on and analysed the health threat. According to a statement from the PM Office, “A decision has been taken to fully activate the NCOC and directives were issued to implement the COVID-19 SOPs.”

Provincial and district governments will be told to manage compliance with the government’s orders.

According to government data and health officials, Karachi continues to report a number of cases, with 18.24% positivity and climbing numbers of coronavirus- related hospitalisations.

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that out of 1831 tests, 334 people tested positive in the last 24 hours and the national positivity has been recorded at 3.50%.

The most recent reports show that 541 out of 15,462 tests across Pakistan were positive with one death and 100 people in critical situations.

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In Karachi, people are rapidly testing positive and hospitalisations are increasing. Officials of Sindh Infectious Diseases Hospital and Research Center at NIPA, Indus Hospital and a few other private hospitals acknowledged that people with the virus have increasingly begun to appear in hospitals.

According to experts, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant are capable of curbing, both, vaccination immunity and natural infection immunity.

Resultantly, on Tuesday, the NCOC and Sindh health department decided to increase the number of tests being done. Their meeting came about after Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel instructed the NCOC to approach the Sindh health department inorder to deal with the virus.

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According to the NIH, they discussed increasing testing, tracing contacts and also making use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), like masks during travel or in crowded areas.

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