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Coronavirus: Pakistan’s positivity rate highest in two months

To date, Pakistan has a total of 324,744 coronavirus cases and 6692 deaths nationwide. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The coronavirus positivity rate in Pakistan spiked up to 2.58% on October 21, which is quite alarming as it’s the highest in over two months.

According to the official tally, on Wednesday of the 28,534 tests sampled, 736 came back positive.

To date, Pakistan has a total of 324,744 coronavirus cases and 6692 deaths nationwide.

Government officials have expressed concern about the rising positivity ratio in the country, even though it is still below the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Last week, Asad Umar, the minister for planning and development, called it “unmistakable signs of rising of coronavirus” when the positivity hit 2.37% on October 15.

However, on Wednesday, the positivity percentage further hiked up to 2.58%. The last time Pakistan reported a percentage higher than this was on August 19 at 2.68%.

Also in the last three days, Pakistan had been reporting deaths in double digits every day, unlike in September when the death toll stayed largely in single digits.

While of the 883 virus-related hospitalisations in the country, 67% are in critical condition, notes the WHO in a report.

NCOC issues warning

Warning that there is an urgent and immediate need to ensure the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for coronavirus prevention, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) had on Wednesday noted that there has been a clear resurgence in virus cases and deaths.

“NCOC is closely monitoring the situation. If there is no improvement in SOPs compliance observed, NCOC will have no choice but to revert to strict measures leading to re-closures of services,” read a statement issued by the NCOC.

The statement said the NCOC, during a special session held to monitor the increasing, had noted a “clear resurgence in coronavirus” and noted the rising death rate attributable to COVID-19.

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