KARACHI: Amid an alarming situation of the COVID-19 situation in Karachi where the positivity ratio has reached 31%, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah Friday said the decision to impose lockdown in the city and close schools will be taken on the directives of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC).
The chief minister said this at an inauguration ceremony in Karachi when he was asked about the surge in COVID-19 in the metropolis.
“I think this is the highest positivity in Karachi,” Murad Ali Shah said, adding despite a surge in infections we are not seeing any pressure on hospitals and the number of patients on ventilators is also low.
The CM said that any decision on lockdown and closure of schools in Karachi will be taken on the recommendation of the NCOC.
However, an official of the Sindh Health Department claimed that as hospitalisation was not increasing in the city, no drastic measures were under consideration to control the spread of COVID-19 due.
“We have decided that unless the hospitalisation increases up to 40-50% in Karachi, we are not going to take any drastic measures, MPA Qasim Soomro, parliamentary secretary health in the Sindh Assembly, told The News on Thursday.
” We are taking some measures to promote vaccination and take action against businesses doing public dealing with unvaccinated staff but no stringent measures are under consideration at the moment in Karachi.”
Govt mulls restrictions on weddings
Meanwhile, the federal government is mulling restrictions on weddings due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Speaking to Geo News today, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Dr Nausheen Hamid termed weddings as a “super-spreader” of COVID-19 cases.
Hamid said: “We are considering to completely ban eating at the wedding as it is the peak time when the virus is spread as people remove their masks to eat food.”
Hamid further added that this matter will be discussed in the upcoming NCOC meeting scheduled to be held in a day or two.
The NCOC, she said, will issue a clear policy highlighting the restrictions on the venue, number of guests at the wedding, etc.
COVID-19 positivity ratio exceeds 7%
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio jumped over 7% as the country reported 3,567 new cases — the highest since September 10, 2021 — in the last 24 hours, the NCOC data showed Friday morning.
The NCOC said 48,449 tests were conducted across the country out of which 3,567 returned positive taking the positivity ratio to 7.36%. The country last reported an infection rate of 6.64% on August 31, 2021.
With the new infections, the overall tally has risen to 1.315 million, while seven more deaths have taken the death toll to 28,999.