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KARACHI: The total number of Omicron cases in Karachi jumped to 101 on Tuesday, prompting authorities to mull closing educational institutions.

The highest number of Omicron cases were reported from Karachi's Districts South (39) and East (23), the Sindh health department said. The department said 47 individuals are suspected to be potential Omicron cases, it was reported on Tuesday.

The province is also mulling over closing educational institutions in Karachi due to the increase in the coronavirus cases.

The decision to close schools will be taken in the next two days. Meanwhile, the positivity ratio in Karachi has reached 8.91%. As many as 236 people have tested positive in the city during the last 24 hours.

On Monday, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab said that Covid-19 infection rate in Karachi surpassed 6%, warning everyone to follow Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure as the authorities did not want to impose restrictions.

During a press conference, the administrator raised alarm over the increase in the Covid-19 cases, saying that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had chaired a meeting and reviewed the Covid-19 situation.

Wahab urged everyone to exercise caution. He advised people to get vaccinated, wear masks, maintain social distancing to protect themselves from the deadly virus.

Meanwhile, during the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 630 new Covid-19 cases at a positivity ratio of 1.42%. Currently, there are 641 critical cases. The country also reported 187 recoveries during the last 24 hours.

Last week, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar warned that clear evidence suggests the beginning of another coronavirus wave, adding that the outbreak had been expected for the last few weeks.

In a tweet, Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said that "Genome sequencing shows a rising proportion of Omicron cases particularly in Karachi."

"Remember: wearing a mask is your best protection," he urged.

Recently, with the threat of the new Omicron variant looming over Pakistan, the NCOC decided to allow booster jabs for healthcare workers, immunocompromised people and those aged over 50 years. It later approved booster jabs for people aged 30 and above.

This article was published in Business Recorder on January 4, 2022.