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Pakistan mulls more restrictions as Covid positivity rate still over 10%

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity ratio remained over 10 percent for the seventh consecutive day, the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) data showed Wednesday, with the government mulling over more restrictions for cities with high positivity rates as health minister Punjab, Dr Yasmeen Rashid tested positive again in a month.

A positivity rate of 10.17% recorded as 5,196 new coronavirus cases were recorded after 51,063 tests were conducted across Pakistan in the last 24 hours, NCOC’s figures showed. The overall positivity rate and daily coronavirus case count, however, has registered a minor decline in the last two days, as per the NCOC stats. 

With the detection of new cases, the number of total cases have jumped to 1.386 million, while 15 more patients have succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 29,137, the official stats showed.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in a notification late last night, issued directions to the airport staff across the country to wear masks amid the rise in cases due to the Omicron variant.

The notification said staff members and passengers would not be allowed inside the airport premises without wearing masks.

Medics a day earlier said, the continuous trend of rising cases due to the Omicron variant has moved up the numbers of patients on critical care.

Meanwhile, officials have said that Pakistan might experience its peak in the first or second week of February.

High positivity rate cities
Karachi — 40.91%
Peshawar — 27.99%
Muzaffarabad — 26.89%
Hyderabad — 26.54%
Rawalpindi — 13.09%
Mardan — 12.59%
Lahore — 11.30%
Nowshera — 10.89%
Islamabad — 10.59%
Abbottabad — 10.61%

“More restrictions are expected this week to control this situation,” officials said.

Punjab Minister for Health, Dr Yasmin Rashid has tested positive for coronavirus, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

This is the second time in a month that the health minister has tested positive for coronavirus. She first tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month on January 4.

The spokesperson said the health minister was self-isolating, while Dr Rashid said she was in good health so far.

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