Pakistan continues to report uptick in coronavirus cases

Positivity rate goes up to 3.58%, 160 people people test positive for coronavirus in last 24 hours, NIH reports

By Web Desk
March 24, 2023
Three youngsters wearing masks pillion riding a motorcycle on a busy road in Pakistan. — AFP/File

The number of coronavirus patients is increasing continuously across Pakistan, with the virus affecting at least 150 people in the last 24 hours.

According to the National Institute of Health, 4,194 tests were conducted over the last 24 hours, after which the rate of positive cases increased to 3.58%.


In the last 24 hours, one person died due to COVID-19 in the country, while the condition of 22 patients is critical.

It should be noted that last week, in view of the fear of the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) had issued an alert to wear masks till April 30.

"Mask wearing is recommended at crowded tightly enclosed spaces including healthcare facilities," the NIH had quoted the NCOC.

The NCOC had issued directives to make the use of masks mandatory in crowded places, hospitals and other healthcare centres as well.

The NIH had said the decision was taken by the NCOC due to the current COVID-19 disease trends across the country. The guideline had come after the countrywide positivity ratio had climbed to 2.98%.

In January this year, Pakistan confirmed the presence of one of the three dominant strains of COVID-19 in China and Omicron's subvariant XBB's presence.

“Genomic surveillance is underway at NIH Islamabad. However, due to low positivity, only a few samples are available for sequencing. Our last batch showed increased cases of Omicron XBB,” an official of the NIH Islamabad had said.

NIH officials had also reiterated that there was no imminent threat of any major COVID-19 wave in Pakistan. However, we are continuously monitoring the situation and prepared for any situation, they had added.

On the other hand, scientists at Aga Khan University also confirmed to The News that they had detected and reported the XBB sub-variant of the Omicron variant to the authorities in the country but had added that they had not yet seen other two sub-variants, including BF.7 in the country.