Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Daily Covid tally hits three-month high at 435

ISLAMABAD: Covid-19 saw an uptick in cases as over 400 people were found infected in the country after about three months, with one succumbing to the virus on Saturday.

As per the data of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Pakistan reported 435 cases and a national infection ratio of 3.19pc on Saturday.

The last time more than 435 cases were recorded was on March 22 when 443 people contracted the virus in a single day.

The data showed that the positivity rate in Karachi rose to 19.65pc, followed by Hyderabad at 11.54pc. Besides, the positivity ratio in Islamabad was over 4pc, Peshawar 3pc, and Lahore over 2pc. Talking to Dawn, University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Akram said the virus was behaving like a ‘roller coaster’.

Karachi’s positivity rate crosses 19pc; health expert suggests imposing curbs to control virus, overcome energy crisis

“The country will face similar situations for a few years,” Dr Akram said, suggesting that restrictions should be imposed once again as they would not only bring cases down but also help overcome the prevailing energy crisis.

Dr Javed Akram, who is a member of the Scientific Task Force on Covid-19, said the immunity level among people was decreasing and the efficacy of vaccines, which was once 95pc, had fallen to around 80-85pc as the virus was continuously mutating.

“Unfortunately when cases drop, people assume the virus has been eradicated and stop following the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said, adding that he personally experienced over a thousand people attending marriage ceremonies and no one wearing masks. “Even if anyone was wearing a mask, it would just be hanging around the person’s neck,” he said.

The UHS vice chancellor said according to his understanding, there were three to five variants prevalent in Pakistan.

Vaccines are losing efficacy but even then they were the only shield against Covid-19, Dr Akram said, adding that people should go for vaccination and those who were already immunised should get booster shots. He said Moderna vaccine was short of supply but its consignment had arrived two days ago.

“People should take precautionary measures and strictly adhere to the SOPs,” he said, adding that Pakistan was in the grip of severe energy crisis so if restrictions were imposed, the country would not only be able to control the pandemic but also overcome energy crisis.

Several markets and shops would be closed and the cost of tra­nsportation would minimise, he said. Replying to a question, Dr Akram said according to his university’s study, Vitamin D helped in combating Covid-19 and also increased resistance against it.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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