Pakistan reports over 3,000 new COVID cases for first time in nearly 4 months

Pakistan reported more than 3,000 coronavirus cases on Thursday, Jan. 13, nearly 1,000 more than the cases reported a day earlier, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant spread across the country.

As many as 3,019 new coronavirus cases were detected in the last 24 hours. This is the highest daily tally in four months. Pakistan had reported 3,012 confirmed cases on Sept 15.

Countrywide breakdown of Coronavirus cases

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 23,230, with 651 patients in intensive care.

The countrywide breakdown in the last 24 hours is as follows:

  • Sindh: 1,733 cases
  • Punjab: 919 cases, 1 death
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 64 cases, 3 deaths
  • Balochistan: 11 cases
  • Islamabad: 284 cases
  • Gilgit-Baltistan: 4 cases
  • Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 4 cases, 1 death

Omicron Variant is driving the surge

The Omicron variant of Coronavirus is driving the cases and NCOC fears it can trigger a fifth wave of the disease in the country. The overall positivity rate has risen to 6.12 percent. According to data shared on Wednesday, Karachi has the highest positivity rate of 20.22%, followed by Mirpur with a 10% positivity rate. Lahore reported a positivity rate of 7.15%, Islamabad 4.46%, and Rawalpindi 4.06%.

COVID Vaccination situation in Pakistan

According to NCOC, the country passed the milestone of administering at least a single dose of vaccine to more than 100 million people.

“Of these [100m people], nearly 75m are fully vaccinated, which is 33pc of total population and 49pc of the eligible population. Work is not complete yet. Need to keep the momentum going,” the NCOC statement had stated.

NCOC abolishes centralized quarantine

The NCOC has abolished centralized quarantine immediately.

“Centralised quarantine arrangements for Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) positive for inbound passengers have been abolished forthwith. Now, all the passengers detected as positive in RAT on arrival at airports/border terminals will self-isolate themselves for 10 days (home quarantine). All the inbound passengers who are currently quarantined at centralized locations be shifted accordingly,” according to an NCOC notification

The remaining protocols of inbound testing policy remain effective in the light of the latest decision, said the NCOC.

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