Sunday May 26, 2024

Alarming situation: Covid-19 positivity rate jumps to over 28pc in Karachi

By M. Waqar Bhatti
March 21, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Karachi has witnessed an alarming increase in Covid-19 positivity rate crossing over 28 percent after 30 out of 106 people screened for the viral infection were tested positive. However, the countrywide positivity rate stood at only three percent when three out of 100 individuals were tested positive for the pandemic.

“Covid-19 positivity rate has started rising in the country since 100 individuals were tested positive during last 24 hours after as many as 3,147 tests were conducted across the country registering 3.18 percent Covid-19 positivity rate”, an official of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad told The News.

According to statistics shared by the NIH Islamabad, Covid-19 positivity rate in three major cities - Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar - stood over 10 percent. The positivity rate jumped to 12.20 percent in Islamabad, where 25 people were tested positive in 205 tests conducted for detecting the virus while Peshawar saw 14.29 percent positivity rate with 14 persons tested positive as against 94 tests.

On the other hand, the positivity rate in Lahore remained 4.14 percent with 18 new cases of Covid-19 in 435 tests. Azad Jammu Kashmir, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan emerged as Covid-19 free areas as not a single case of Covid-19 was reported there.

Commenting on the situation, an official of the NIH said that Covid-19 cases were on the rise due to a sub-variant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2. He added that the spread of the virus was very high but the hospitalization rate was still very low in the country since only 18 people were under treatment in the ICUs and High Dependency Units (HDUs) in the country.

He maintained that people showing symptoms of the virus were being screened only, which is why, the positivity rate was very high. He said that the government has asked the provinces and centres to increase the number of tests to figure out the actual situation.