A spike in coronavirus cases has resulted in the highest number of cases ever recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic in Pakistan. 7,678 Covid cases were reported on Thursday.
Pakistan has not seen as many coronavirus cases since June 13, 2020, when 6,825 cases were reported by the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC).
More than half of the new cases on Thursday were reported in Sindh (3,838). Nearly a quarter were reported in Punjab (1,887), with another 17.6% of all new cases reported in Islamabad alone (1,359).
As a result, the national positivity rate has ballooned to 12.93 per cent.
Twenty three deaths were also reported in the past 24 hours – the highest death count since October 15, 2021. A total of 29,065 people have died from coronavirus in Pakistan since the start of the pandemic.
Since it was first detected in Karachi in December, the Omicron variant has propelled a so-called ‘fifth wave’ of Covid cases across Pakistan. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the highly contagious strain should not be considered ‘mild.’
The NCOC issued new guidelines on Wednesday, requiring varying degrees of restrictions based on district and municipal positivity rates. Indoor gatherings, including at weddings and restaurants, are to be banned in areas with a Covid positivity rate higher than 10 per cent.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin confirmed that they had both tested positive for coronavirus this week.