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Pakistan reported over 5,000 cases for the second consecutive day, while the positivity level also stood above 9% as the fifth Covid-19 wave continued to worsen in the country.

During the last 24 hours, 57,669 tests were conducted, out of which 5,472 came out positive, the highest since August 4, when the country reported 5,661 Covid-19 cases.

Similarly, the positivity was recorded at 9.48%, the highest since May when it stood at around 9.5%. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,338,993 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pakistan.

There are currently 44,717 active cases, while 908 cases are critical.

Another eight deaths were also reported in the last 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 29,037. During the last 24 hours, 628 people recovered from the novel virus, taking the tally to 1,265,239.

Meanwhile, Sindh reported 3,378 coronavirus cases and six deaths. This is the second time in less than a week that the provincial caseload has crossed the 3,000 mark.

On Tuesday, Karachi with 38.79 percent Covid-19 positivity ratio remained the worst affected city followed by Gujranwala with 15 percent, Hyderabad 14 percent, Lahore 12.87 percent, Nowshera 10 percent, Islamabad 8.86 percent, Rawalpindi 7.60 percent, and Peshawar 7.24 percent

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid said on Tuesday that the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) was considering the enforcement of smart lockdown in major hotspot cities, where high Omicron positivity ratio was witnessed.

The decision to impose smart and mini lockdown in high corona positive areas of country would be taken on the directives of the NCOC in next couple of days, she said.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 19, 2022.