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Pakistan reported more than 800 Covid-19 cases for the first time in nearly four months as the positivity rate reached 4.47 per cent amid talks of a sixth wave of the virus.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported 818 cases in the last 24 hours. up from 694 a day earlier. Four deaths were also reported with another 126 patients on critical care.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) recently issued new guidelines suggesting unvaccinated people should not be allowed to enter government offices.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel asked chief secretaries of all four provinces – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – to conduct coronavirus tests under its plans to stem the virus spread. The health ministry also issued the following directives:

  • Children from 5 to 11 years will be vaccinated, campaign to start in one to two months
  • More than 85% of the eligible population stands vaccinated
  • Vaccines for children from Pfizer to arrive within the next two months
  • Booster dose campaign underway in which monthly one million doses are administered
  • Wearing masks made mandatory in closed spaces, railway stations, public transport, and airlines
  • An awareness campaign to run

Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi has witnessed a surge with positivity ratio crossing 20% on several occasions. It remains in single digits for other major cities.

On Friday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over a Coronavirus Task Force meeting at the CM House.

“This situation can easily be controlled through adopting SOPs such as wearing masks, avoiding handshake, ensuring social distancing and washing hands frequently,” he said.