Pakistan reported 6,808 cases during the last 24 hours, the highest since June 2020, while the positivity level was recorded at 11.55% as the fifth Covid-19 wave continued to take its toll in the country.
In mid-June 2020, the country reported 6,825 infections.
During the last 24 hours, the positivity level also hit its highest since April 2021.
Since the start of the pandemic, 1,345,801 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Pakistan. There are currently 51,094 active cases, while 918 cases are critical.
During the last 24 hours, five people succumbed to the novel virus, taking the death toll to 29,042. Moreover, 426 people recovered from the novel virus, taking the tally to 1,265,665.
On Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) announced new coronavirus-related restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar chaired the NCOC meeting, which reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the country.
The meeting decided to completely ban indoor events in areas where the infection rate is above 10%.
In its decision regarding educational institutions, the NCOC said that all schools will be allowed 100% attendance in those areas where the infection rate is below 10%. For schools where the infection rate is above 10%, the restriction of 50% attendance will be applied, but only to children below 12 years of age.
As per the NCOC, businesses will continue without time restrictions across the country and public buses will be allowed to operate with 70 percent of their seating capacity. Wearing masks will be mandatory throughout the journey, with a complete ban on serving meals/snacks.
Pakistan has refrained from imposing wide-scale lockdowns even as cases rise, relying on its pace of vaccination to counter the spread of the coronavirus. So far, the country has administered over 166,837,089 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to its people.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 20, 2022.