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Pakistan

Web Desk
October 23, 2020

Pakistan’s coronavirus situation worsening

Pakistan

Web Desk
Fri, Oct 23, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday observed that the coronavirus situation in the country is worsening as all indicators have turned red.

During the morning session of the NCOC on Friday, health officials briefed the forum about the rising positivity ratio, increase in hospital admissions and the spike in the number of deaths.

“Forum noted that [it was] the fifth continuous day that positivity ratio is on the rise, which has now reached 40%,” said a statement. It also pointed out that the deaths in the country are also increasing.

“Muzaffarabad, Hyderabad, Karachi and Gilgit have higher positivity ratio along with other areas across the country,” observed the NCOC.

It noted that hospital admissions were also on the rise across the country particularly in Punjab. The participants were informed that there was an increase in the number of critical patients in hospitals as well.

The meeting was shared that the country’s current case fertility rate has reached 2.06% while the global rate stood at 2.72%. It also noted that 71% of total deaths were of males out of which 76% were over the age of 50.

The forum was also briefed by the Punjab chief secretary regarding the increasing figures in the province.

He told the NCOC that Punjab’s death ratio was 1.6% on September 1 and today the ratio stood at 6%. He also added that the positivity ratio of the province also increased from 0.92% to 1.33%.

Positivity rate spikes to 2.58%, highest in two months

A day earlier it was reported that Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity rate had reached to 2.58% on October 21, its highest in over two months.

According to the official tally, on Wednesday of the 28,534 tests sampled, 736 came back positive.

To date, Pakistan has a total of 324,744 coronavirus cases and 6692 deaths nationwide.

Government officials have expressed concern about the rising positivity ratio in the country, even though it is still below the 5% threshold set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Last week, Asad Umar, the minister for planning and development, called it “unmistakable signs of rising of coronavirus” when the positivity hit 2.37% on October 15.

However, on Wednesday, the positivity percentage further hiked up to 2.58%. The last time Pakistan reported a percentage higher than this was on August 19 at 2.68%.

Also in the last three days, Pakistan had been reporting deaths in double digits every day, unlike in September when the death toll stayed largely in single digits.

While of the 883 virus-related hospitalisations in the country, 67% are in critical condition, notes the WHO in a report.

NCOC issues warning

Warning that there is an urgent and immediate need to ensure the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for coronavirus prevention, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) had on Wednesday noted that there has been a clear resurgence in virus cases and deaths.

"NCOC is closely monitoring the situation. If there is no improvement in SOPs compliance observed, NCOC will have no choice but to revert to strict measures leading to re-closures of services," read a statement issued by the NCOC.

The statement said the NCOC, during a special session held to monitor the increasing, had noted a "clear resurgence in coronavirus" and noted the rising death rate attributable to COVID-19.