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Covid cases on the decline but fears of Omicron's sub-variant grow

Updated 11 Feb, 2022
Omicron, the most transmittable variant of Covid, was reportedly first spotted in South Africa in November 2021 and it reached Pakistan in December last year. Reuters
Omicron, the most transmittable variant of Covid, was reportedly first spotted in South Africa in November 2021 and it reached Pakistan in December last year. Reuters

The rate of Covid positivity continued to decline in Pakistan as the country recorded 6.02 per cent ratio during the last 24 hours, according to National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data published on Friday.

Out of 58,077 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, 3,498 people tested positive for the virus.

With 39 deaths reported from the coronavirus on Thursday, the total death toll, since the start of the pandemic in the country, reached 29,687 mark.

Currently, 1,663 patients infected by the virus are on critical care, according to the NCOC data.

Meanwhile, the vaccination process is continuing in full swing across the country, with close to 90 million people being fully vaccinated against Covid.

In a tweet on Friday, NCOC chief Asad Umar lauded the single-day vaccination target achieved by the country. "Another record set with 2.24 million vaccinations in a day. Last 4 days in a row we have vaccinated more than 2 million each day. Every 3 out of 4 Pakistani's eligible for vaccination have received at least 1 dose. 58% are fully vaccinated. Well done Pakistan," he tweeted.

However, a sub-variant of Omicron, ‘Stealth Omicron (BA.2)’, was rapidly spreading in Scandinavian countries and in Japan and will reach Pakistan, sooner or later, according to a Dawn report.

Omicron, the most transmittable variant of Covid, was reportedly first spotted in South Africa in November 2021 and it reached Pakistan in December last year. Since then numbers of infection started increasing across the country.

On January 27, Pakistan reported 8,183 Covid cases, the highest number of infections in a single day since the pandemic hit the country in 2020. But February brought with it some respite, as numbers of infected people started to dwindle.

On January 19, NCOC imposed non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in cities and districts with at least 10 per cent Covid positivity rate. These restrictions were later extended due to increasing cases of the virus. A review of the Covid situation by the coronavirus monitoring body is due on February 15.