Pakistan fears 5th wave of Covid-19 after country reported over 700 cases in 24 hours

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has warned of a new Covid-19 wave in Pakistan after the country reported more than 700 cases in 24 hours.

Asad Umar said that the increasing number of infections, especially the Omicron variant cases, is clear evidence of another coronavirus wave in the country – especially in Karachi. The planning minister, who is also head of NCOC, said the recent surge in cases seemed to be due to the most transmissible Omicron variant.

Taking to Twitter, NCOC head said, “Clear evidence now of a beginning of another covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks.”

Asad Umar urged the public to wear masks and follow COVID-19 SOPs to help curb the latest wave.

“Genome sequencing is showing a rising proportion of Omicron cases, particularly in Karachi. Remember, wearing a mask is your best protection,” he added.

Latest statistics

According to the Jan. 3 data from the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), Pakistan reported 708 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours. This is the first time since October 2021 that the country has exceeded the 700 daily infections mark. The country had recorded 733 infections on Oct. 30, 2021.

Furthermore, the number of detected positive Covid-19 cases has doubled in less than a week, as the data shared on Sunday showed that 594 cases were reported against 291 cases on December 27. The positivity rate, which was 1.08pc on 31st December, had reached 1.3pc on Sunday, revealed the NCOC data. At least 637 Covid-19 patients are in critical care, according to the stats shared in Sunday.

Countrywide breakdown of cases:

  • Sindh: 415 cases
  • Punjab: 217 cases, 1 death
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 39 cases, 1 death
  • Islamabad: 35 cases
  • Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 2 cases

No new Covid-19 cases were reported in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Smart lockdown in Gulshan-e-Iqbal

Earlier, the Sindh government had imposed a smart lockdown in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block 7 after the area reported 12 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

According to a notification issued on Friday, the micro-smart lockdown was imposed on the streets and houses of the affected area as specified by Deputy Commissioner District East. The lockdown was imposed on the recommendation of the concerned health officer.

All types of gatherings and events are banned in the area till further notice, as local administration fears COVID-19 spread.

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