COVID-19 3rd wave: Is Pakistan going to close big cities?

The positivity ratio in Karachi and Hyderabad is 13% and 14% respectively, while in Mardan it is 33% and 38% in Bahawalpur. Is Pakistan planning to close the big cities?

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Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Wednesday warned of more restrictions due to the deteriorating coronavirus situation in the country.

The federal minister, after chairing an important session at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said that implementation of COVID-19 standard operating procedures is not good this time and shared that the number of critical cases in the country has exceeded 4,500.

The NCOC noted that if the situation remains the same, then they would have no choice but to shut major cities. “At the NCOC, we reviewed the pandemic situation, which is bad. We have taken several decisions to impose more curbs which would be announced on Friday,” Umar said, adding major cities are not being closed right now, but a margin of only some days is left.

He added that the positivity ratio in Karachi and Hyderabad is 13% and 14% respectively, while in Mardan it is 33% and 38% in Bahawalpur. “In several cities, more than 80% of ventilators are in use.”

Umar said the administration has failed to implement the SOPs and the results are evident. “Health facilities are under stress due to increasing number of positive cases which have now crossed 83,000.”

He also asked the chief ministers to take action against SOP violations and urged them to help the NCOC control the pandemic. “You are the elected leaders, people have voted for you. They will listen to you,” he said.

148 deaths, 5,499 new cases reported in last 24 hours

As the coronavirus situation deteriorates during the third wave in Pakistan, the country reported 148 new fatalities, taking the total death tally to 16,600 on Wednesday.

As per the official statistics issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 5,499 new positive cases have been reported in the last 24 hours after 47,301 tests were conducted across the country.

According to the official figures, the death toll from COVID-19 in the country has risen to 16,600 and the total number of cases has reached 772,381, while the number of active cases is 83,162.

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In addition to this, 5,488 patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours across the country, bringing the total number of recoveries to 672,619.