A sharp increase in COVID-19 positivity rate has been witnessed in the past several weeks with the number surpassing 15% in Hyderabad, Gilgit and Multan.
According to the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the overall positivity rate stands at 4.5% with Hyderabad reporting the highest at 16.59%. Multan recorded 15.97%, Gilgit 15.38, Muzafarabad 14.12 % , Mirpur 11.11% , Peshawar 9.69%, Quetta 8.03%, Islamabad 7.48 %, Karachi 7.12% , Lahore 5.37 % and Rawalpindi reported 4.63% positivity rate.
A total of 1,650 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the tally to 344,839 with 18,981 active cases as of November 9.
The death toll reached 6,977 with nine people succumbing to the virus in the past 24 hours.
Containing the spread
To contain the rising coronavirus spread, at least 4,136 mirco lockdowns have been imposed across the country and the fresh measures introduced to curb the virus will be in place till January 31, 2021.
Last Friday, the NCOC directed public and private companies to implement a 50% “work from home” policy and banned indoor weddings. However, people are allowed to invite upto 1,000 guests at outdoor functions.
The NCOC notification said major cities with a high positivity rate and higher disease spread potential will be asked to enforce the ban. The rule pertains to Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzzafarabad, Mirpur, Peshawar, Quetta, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, and Abbottabad.
The decision will go into effect from November 20, 2020.
Beginning November 7, the NCOC directed the implementation of a “Gilgit-Baltistan model” whereby face masks must be made compulsory in the aforementioned cities.
In GB, failure to do so results in a penalty of Rs100 and three masks issued on the spot. Authorities have been advised to issue similar penalties in these locations.