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5th wave of Covid-19: Pakistan records highest cases since August 25, 2021

Updated 15 Jan, 2022
The NCOC has decided to allow booster shots for youngsters aged over 18 from Saturday (today). File photo
The NCOC has decided to allow booster shots for youngsters aged over 18 from Saturday (today). File photo

Pakistan reported another 4,286 coronavirus cases on January 14, the highest since August 25 when it recorded 4,553 infections, while the country's positivity ratio was recorded at 8.16% during the last 24 hours, also the highest since August 11.

Pakistan has been witnessing a fifth wave of the coronavirus with spread of the new Omicron variant. During the last 24 hours, 52,522 tests were conducted across the country.

So far, Pakistan has confirmed 1,320,120 cases out of which Sindh has reported 497,153, Punjab (451,408), KPK (182,100), and Balochistan has recorded 33,684 infections.

Overall, Islamabad has confirmed 110,597 infections, GB (10,439) and AJK has reported 34,739 positive cases. The death toll has risen to 29,003 after four people succumbed to the novel virus during the last 24 hours.

The recoveries from coronavirus have reached 1,263,005 after 2,598 more people recovered from the virus.

Meanwhile, the active number of cases have reached 28,112 while there are 709.

On Friday, Pakistan decided to allow booster shots for youngsters aged over 18 as authorities scramble to control the spread of the virus.

In a tweet, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said that the age limit has been reduced and from Saturday (today) citizens over 18 years will be eligible for a free booster dose of their choice.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah convened a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Saturday (today) over the rising Covid-19 cases across the province, especially Karachi. During the last 24 hours, the positivity ratio in the port city reached 35.30%.

NCOC to review Covid SOPs for education sector on Jan 17

Amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has called a meeting of all provincial education ministers on January 17 to discuss the existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the education sector.

The announcement was made at an NCOC meeting on Saturday.

Pakistan has been witnessing a fifth wave of the coronavirus with the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Pakistan reported another 4,286 coronavirus cases on January 14, the highest since August 25 when it recorded 4,553 infections, while the country's positivity ratio was recorded at 8.16% during the last 24 hours, also the highest since August 11.

The forum also imposed a complete ban on the inflight serving of meals from January 17, 2022.

"The Civil Aviation Authority has been instructed to ensure all passengers and crew wear masks during flight," a statement issued by the NCOC said.

“Implement COVID SOPs at all airports,” it added.

Moreover, the serving of meals and snacks in public transport across the country has also been banned.

The NCOC has directed the federating units to take strict measures against violators of existing SOPs and ensure enforcement of obligatory vaccination regimes.

Provinces have been asked to carry out immediate surveys of health care facilities, including oxygenated beds, oxygen stocks, and other reserves.

Earlier in the day, the Sindh government ruled out closing educational institutions, a decision that comes amid the ongoing fifth wave of coronavirus in the country.

The decision comes as Karachi's positivity ratio reached 35.30%. The Sindh health department said 430 infections of the Omicron variant have been detected in Karachi.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 15, 2022.