ISLAMABAD: In an alarming sign, the coronavirus positivity ratio in Pakistan neared 10% on Saturday, according to the latest government data.
As per the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 40,946 tests were conducted across the country in the last 24 hours out of which 3,876 were positive, taking the national positivity ratio to 9.46%.
This was also Pakistan’s its highest number of daily cases reported since July 2, when 4,087 were recorded.
Among the new cases, 2,033 of those were reported from Punjab making it the highest number of cases emerging from the province in the last nine months.
Last time Punjab crossed the 2,000-mark was on June 19 of last year.
With the new cases, the nationwide tally of positive coronavirus cases has surged to 623,135 and the active cases in the country stand at 27,188.
A breakdown of the total cases showed that 262,796 cases have been detected in Sindh, 195,087 cases in Punjab, 78,653 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 19,306 in Balochistan, 50,843 in Islamabad, 4,967 in Gilgit Baltistan, 11,483 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
In the last 24 hours, the country lost 42 people to the deadly virus, taking the nationwide death toll to 13,799.
So far, 579,760 have recovered from the coronavirus after testing positive.
The surge in the positivity cases has alarm bells ringing in the country, as a day earlier Pakistan positivity rate stood close to 8%.
NCOC concerned over SOP violations
Earlier this week, the NCOC had communicated deep concerns regarding the rising disease trend and mortality rate in the country.
The forum was briefed that almost all major cities have crossed 5% positivity.
Provincial administrations have been asked to take immediate actions for the strict implementation of SOPs.
Serious concern was shown on the general disregard of SOPs by the masses. Mass violations of SOPs and disrespect of orders including not wearing of a mask, disregard of social distancing are widely reported.
The coronavirus monitoring body appealed to citizens to once again display a good example of social behavior and follow the SOPs in letter and spirit.
It was also decided that COVID-19 vaccination centres across the country will remain closed on Sundays and national holidays.