As the Covid-19 positivity ratio touched nearly 3 per cent, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has requested citizens to wear masks in crowded places. In their Tweet, the NIH stated that National Command & Operations Centre has rolled out guidelines for up till April 30 after observing the current trend of coronavirus across Pakistan. The health authority directed to wear the mask at tightly closed spots which also includes health care facilities.
Amid the current COVID-19 disease trends across the country, NCOC recommended following guidelines for the period up to 30 April 2023.
"Mask wearing is recommended at crowded tightly enclosed spaces including healthcare facilities"
— NIH Pakistan (@NIH_Pakistan) March 16, 2023
According to the stats shared by NIH on March 17, health authorities carried out 4,917 tests during the past 24 hours, which resulted in 133 positive cases. The positivity ratio reached 2.70 pc. No deaths have been recorded since yesterday. However, 15 patients are still in critical condition.
COVID-19 Statistics 17 March 2023
Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 4,917
Positive Cases: 133
Positivity %: 2.70%
Patients on Critical Care: 15
(shared by NCOC-NIH)
— NIH Pakistan (@NIH_Pakistan) March 17, 2023
Earlier, on March 16, the stats shared by NIH did not show encouraging results. The data showed that since March 15, 4,334 tests were conducted, from which 129 people tested positive for Covid-19. The positivity ratio touched almost 3 pc, closing at 2.98 pc. The positive sign is that no deaths have been reported in the past two days.
Presence of Omicron subvariant in Pakistan confirmed by NIH
Pakistan confirmed the presence of Omicron’s subvariant, XBB, which is one of the three dominant strains of COVID-19 in China. The presence was confirmed in January 2023. An official of the NIH said that due to the low positivity rate, they identified only a few samples for sequencing, however, the last batch they reviewed showed an increase in Omicron XBB’s cases.
In Karachi, scientists from Aga Khan University confirmed that they detected the XBB sub-variant of the Omicron variant. The Aga Khan University said they reported to the authorities about the situation. Till now the other two sub-variants, including BF.7, have not been reported in Pakistan. The overall situation regarding the Omicron subvariants seemed to be under control as no deaths or serious cases were reported by the health authorities.