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NCOC allows covid booster up to 18 years old pakistanis as new cases surge rapidly

According to the NCOC’s statistics, 48,449 tests were conducted and the positivity ratio reached 7.36 per cent.

ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre announced on Friday that citizens over 18 years old will be eligible for a free anti-Covid booster dose of their choice from tomorrow onwards.

“Age limit for booster dose has been further reduced. Booster (one dose) will be administered after 6 months gap from complete vaccination,” the NOOC said in a tweet.

A day earlier, Pakistan reported seven Covid-19 related deaths and 3,567 new positive cases.

According to the NCOC’s statistics, 48,449 tests were conducted and the positivity ratio reached 7.36 per cent.

Covid first emerged in the country in February 2020 and hit its peak in the summer. The cases started declining in July only to rise again towards the end of the year in the form of its second wave.

Two more Covid waves were witnessed in the first quarter and then in the second quarter of last year. The waves were driven by deadlier delta and the Indian variant of coronavirus. Now, the country is in the grip of a fifth wave fuelled by a superspreader variant, Omicron.

On January 11, Planning Minister Asad Umar, who supervises the government’s anti-Covid strategy, reiterated his call on all the provinces to follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and the obligatory regime in letter and spirits in order to curtail the spread of the fifth wave of Covid-19.

Umar, the head of the NCOC, told the ceremony that the people who had not been vaccinated so far must get the shots as soon as possible, while those fully vaccinated six months ago, should go for a booster doze.

Covid positivity increases over 7% in Pakistan

The positivity rate of Covid in Pakistan surpassed 7% with 3,567 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. It is the highest single-day Covid infections data since Sept 10, 2021.

According to NCOC, about 48,449 tests were conducted across the country in 24 hours, and 3,567 infections were reported. Consequently, the positivity ratio increased to to 7.36%.

With the new infections, the overall tally has risen to 1.315 million, while seven more deaths, taking toll to 28,999 casualties.

Amid rising coronavirus cases in the country after the emergence of the Omicron variant, a meeting of the education ministers’ was called yesterday (Thursday) to decide the fate of schools, but it was postponed to next week.

Covid Big Surge in Karachi

In Karachi, the mega city of Pakistan, the COVID-19 positivity ratio reached up to 31% on Thursday when 1,940 people were testing positive for the infectious disease.

However, an official of the Sindh Health Department claimed that as hospitalisation was not increasing in Karachi, there was no need to panic about the COVID-19.

MPA Qasim said, “We have decided that unless the hospitalisation increases up to 40-50% in Karachi, we are not going to take any drastic measures.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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