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COVID-19 surge worries govt, NCOC fully activated

PM Shahbaz Sharif orders to fully activate the NCOC; Karachi reports 18.24% positivity ratio

June 29, 2022
PM Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting at PM Office to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the country. Photo PM Office
PM Shahbaz Sharif chairs a meeting at PM Office to take stock of the COVID-19 situation in the country. Photo PM Office

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Wednesday expressed “concern” over a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the country and ordered to "fully activate" the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The prime minister chaired a meeting of the NCOC at the PM Office today and took stock of the COVID-19 situation in the country amid a steady rise in positivity, especially in Karachi.

"A decision has been taken to fully activate the NCOC and directives were issued to implement the COVID-19 SOPs," a statement issued from the PM Office said.

It has also been decided to order provincial and district governments to ensure compliance with government-mandated guidelines.

During the meeting, attended by the officials of NCOC and the Ministry Of Health, PM Shahbaz Sharif instructed authorities to take all measures to curb the COVID-19 spread.

Karachi continues to record high positivity ratio

The metropolis reported 18.24% positivity with a steady rise in hospitalisation due to coronavirus, fresh government data and health officials said.

Source: National Institute of Health
Source: National Institute of Health

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 334 people tested positive for the deadly infection when 1831 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours in the city while the national positivity was recorded at 3.50%.

As per the latest data, 15,462 tests were carried out in the country out of which 541 returned positive while one person died of infection. The number of patients in critical care stands at 100.

The hospitalisation has started increasing steadily in Karachi, where dozens of the people are being tested positive for COVID-19 on daily basis, while the officials of Sindh Infectious Diseases Hospital and Research Center at NIPA, Indus Hospital and some other private hospitals have confirmed that the people with COVID-19 symptoms started pouring into the health facilities in the city.

The health experts are blaming BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant for infecting even the fully vaccinated people, saying that they could evade both vaccination immunity and the natural infection immunity.

NCOC-Sindh health dept meeting

Following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Karachi, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) and Sindh health department agreed on Tuesday to increase testing to curb the infections.

The meeting between the health department and the NCOC came after the latter was directed by Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel to approach the former and formulate a strategy to contain the virus.

“It was discussed to increase testing, contact tracing and implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), especially wearing masks at all crowded places and during domestic travel by air, railways or road,” a statement by the National Institute of Health (NIH) said.