The fifth coronavirus wave continued to worsen in Pakistan as the country reported another 5,034 cases, the highest since August, while the positivity level increased to 9.45%, an eight-month high.
Last year, on August 4, the country reported 5,661 Covid-19 cases. Similarly, the positivity was this high in May when it stood at around 9.5%.
During the last 24 hours, 53,253 tests were conducted.
The graph below shows the spread of the coronavirus this month, with a 243% increase in just one week between January 10 and January 17. The positivity level has also increased at an alarming pace.
Since the start of the pandemic, 1,333,521 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pakistan. Another 10 deaths were also reported in the last 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 29,029.
There are currently 39,881 active cases, while 827 cases are critical.
On Monday, the NCOC put off a decision on closing educational institutions, saying before taking any such decision it will review the Covid-19 positivity data of various institutions.
The NCOC meeting, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, was attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan as well as provincial health and education ministers.
In a statement, the NCOC said, "Decision about education institutions will be taken on data of positive cases of various institutions for which massive testing in educational institutions is being carried out."
Deliberating on the situation, the ministers, who participated in the meeting virtually, informed the forum about the steps being taken for implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the wake of the spike in the coronavirus cases.
“Keeping in view the new disease prevalence, a fresh set of NPIs was presented and discussed with the provinces and a new set of NPIs will be implemented by provinces in the next 48 hours after consultative process with all the stakeholders,” the NCOC said.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on January 18, 2022.