Covid infections, tests drop sharply in Pakistan

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has taken in 89 more Covid-19 infections with no fatality with daily number of tests cutting down to half during the last 24 hours, showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Saturday morning.

According to the NIH data, the death toll in the country remained the same at 30,648 whereas the number of total infections now shot up to 1,579,006 after adding the fresh 89 cases. During the last 24 hours (Friday), 2,530 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.52%. The number of patients in critical care stood at 19.

The Indian government has said that the number of active Covid cases stands at 7,600 at the moment with XBB.1.16 variant driving the surge. “Around 1% of the global cases being reported in India as of now. Active cases stand at 7,600 right now. 966 cases being reported on a daily basis, on average. In the second week of February, 108 daily cases were being reported on average, it has now increased to 966,” said Indian Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

“The eight states where maximum number of cases are being reported are – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. I had personally written to these states on March 16 on what actions they need to take up,” he added. A total of 349 samples of Covid-19’s XBB.1.16 variant, which might have been behind the recent rise of coronavirus cases in the country, have been detected, according to INSACOG data.

These 349 samples of the variant have been found in nine states and Union Territories. The highest number of cases due to this variant has been found in Maharashtra at 105, followed by Telangana 93, Karnataka 61 and Gujarat 54, according to INSACOG data accessed by PTI.

XBB 1.16 was first found in January when two samples tested positive for the variant. In February, 140 samples of the XBB 1.16 variant were found. In March, 207 XBB 1.16 variant samples have been found till now, according to INSACOG data. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) advised all the states to continue focusing on the 5-fold strategy of Test-Track-Treat-Vaccination and Covid Appropriate Behaviour to fight Covid-19. The notification stated, “We will do another mock drill to see the Covid-19 preparations. Mock drills will be done soon in all the states/UTs.”

According to the notification issued by the Health Ministry, more than 220.65 crore total doses of vaccines have been administered in the country. “There has been no evidence of an increase in hospitalization. Precaution doses should be increased. Enhanced lab surveillance and testing of all severe acute respiratory Illness (Sari) cases needs to be done”, reads the statement. India has recorded 1,134 new coronavirus cases, while the active cases increased to 7,026, according to Health Ministry data. The death toll climbed to 5,30,813 with five deaths. One death each has been reported in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Maharashtra while one fatality was reconciled by Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated.