Pakistan just saw the graph for its Covid-19 cases hit a second historic peak with Karachi turning into a hotspot for what is being called the fifth wave of the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, the country reported 5,034 new cases and registered 10 deaths, according to the NCOC, which is the federal government's nerve centre for managing data and public messaging and protocols countrywide.
Statistics 20 Jan 22:
Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 58,943
Positive Cases: 6808
Positivity %: 11.55%
Patients on Critical Care: 918
— NCOC (@OfficialNcoc) January 20, 2022
The National Command Control Centre has made the right decisions during the pandemic and has been monitored developments closely, said former Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on SAMAA TV.
"No decisions were made in a rush or panic," he said. "They were data-driven. As the data comes in, the forum reviews the statistics and the last wave and then comprehensive and mutual decisions are taken."
He said they have not rushed to close schools because education has been most affected by the pandemic.
SOPs people should follow
He said all decisions made by NCOC consider that individuals take responsibility for themselves.
- Wear masks but low-quality masks are not good protection, he stressed. "I haven't seen any country yet where people are protesting against wearing masks," he said.
- Keep up social distancing and avoid gatherings, especially indoor events and activities.
On Wednesday, the NCOC imposed new restrictions such as a ban on indoor weddings and other gatherings, 50% attendance for students under the age of 12 years, 100% for fully vaccinated students above 12 years, 50% capacity for vaccinated people are allowed in gyms, cinemas, shrines and amusement parks.
"Change behavior and get vaccinated"
Dr Zafar stressed that people should get vaccinated as well, otherwise no social activities will be allowed. The media should also spread this message as much as they can, he said.
Pakistan has administered vaccinations to over a 77 million people. This was a big figure for Pakistan, he said.
Is Omicron a blessing?
"When a virus spreads rapidly, it means it will affect more people than the previous infection because the volume of the proportion of people is high and if it had spread less, it would harmful as well," he said when asked Omicron, the new variant of Covid.
Karachi has become a hotspot of coronavirus during the fifth wave. In the last 24 hours, over 7,670 people were tested for Covid out of which 3,150 cases were reported positive. While 500 Omicron cases are under genome sequencing, according to the Health Department of Sindh. It is said to be the peak phase for Covid-19.
However, the Sindh government said Karachi and Hyderabad have an over 10 percent positivity rate. Therefore, separate SOPs have been announced for these two cities, as per the guidelines issued by the National Command and Operation Centre Wednesday.