Three month high: Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity nears 5%

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Pakistan on Tuesday recorded 4.94% COVID-19 positivity rate – highest in three months. 

According to figures issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), 1,313 new cases were identified across the country, bringing the total tally to 337,573. A total of 26,565 tests were conducted.

The country’s death toll stands at 6,867 as 18 people succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours. At least 316,060 have recovered from the virus so far. 

No lockdown

The federal and provincial governments have issued multiple warnings over the past few days, urging public to follow COVID-19 SOPs.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country could not afford another national lockdown and urged the masses to strictly follow the preventive measures against the novel coronavirus.

In a press briefing after meeting of the federal cabinet, PM Imran Khan said the provincial governments needed to ensure the implementation of Trace, Test & Quarantine (TTQ) and smart lockdown strategies pertaining to the coronavirus.

Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar — who also heads the NCOC — and the premier’s aide on health, Dr Faisal Sultan, informed the Cabinet that the number of coronavirus patients, as well as virus-related deaths, was increasing,

Adherence to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) needed to be ensured, Umar and Sultan said.

Strict measures

 Last week, the NCOC tightened restrictions on high risk public activities and made face masks mandatory in public spaces. The authorities also reduced timings for restaurants and weddings to 10:00pm.

In a bid to discourage violation of social distancing and other SOPs, the NCOC sought people’s help to avoid a second wave of infections.

“With the arrival of second wave and continued wide scale violation of the SOPs, the NCOC has decided to seek citizens help for SOP compliance,” tweeted Umar.

He asked people to take pictures of SOPs violations such as not wearing masks or not maintaining social distancing in crowded places and send those images to a government-issued number along with the location.

The number is +92 335 3336262.

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