Coronavirus Positivity Ratio Exceeds 8%

The nerve center of the unified strategy of the government against the coronavirus pandemic, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), has reported 4,722 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. It stated that in light of the newly recorded infections, the positivity ratio in the country is now at 8.22%. 

The forum gave its daily update and said that in the last 24 hours, 46 people had lost their lives. The death toll in the country now stands at 23,575, which has been accumulated since the first case of the disease was discovered in February of 2020. 

The update further informed that the number of critical patients in coronavirus-dedicated hospitals, across Pakistan, increased to 3,858. In the last 24 hours alone, 460 additional patients suffering from the disease had been taken to the hospital for treatment. 

The NCOC took to the microblogging website, Twitter, to further reveal that it had managed to administer 1,139,580 total doses to the people in the country in the previous day. Thus, the cumulative number of vaccinated individuals has now reached 33,059,676.

In other news, the Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Care Commission has issued new standard operating procedures (SOPs), in order to curtail the rise in the number of infections in the province. The newly issued rules will apply to public places and markets in four main cities in Punjab. The commissioner’s office notified that these restrictions would remain in place until the 31st of August. 

As per the newly introduced SOPs, all businesses will be required to shut down operations by 8pm. No businesses will be permitted to open on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, medical services, vaccination centers, pharmacies, laboratories, and collection points will remain open throughout the day, all seven days of the week. 

Similarly, general and grocery stores, dairy shops, flour, tandoors, petrol pumps, and vegetable and fruit shops, will not be affected. Tyre puncture shops, spare-part shops, shops selling agricultural machinery and equipment, as well as filling plants, have been exempted from the new schedule. 

In addition, the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration issued some non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as well, while coronavirus cases are on the rise in the federal capital of the country. A complete ban has been placed on all kinds of indoor gatherings, which include musical, religious, cultural, and other similar events. 

Swimming pools, water sports, and amusement parks have been shut down too. However, public parks have been given permission to remain open, given that they follow SOPs strictly. 

Moreover, public and private offices can function with 50% capacity only. Indoor weddings have also been banned, starting from the 8th of August. Outdoor weddings will be permitted but can only have a maximum of 400 guests. They have to wind up till 10 pm and will take place under strict protocols only. 

Furthermore, indoor dining has been completely banned at restaurants and cafes. But they are allowed to serve people outdoors till 10pm. Takeaways will also be allowed.