Pakistan Increases COVID Restrictions Amid Third Wave | News on the coronavirus pandemic

Cases nationwide have increased by 22,018 in the past 10 days, a 68% increase from the previous 10 days, according to official data.

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistani authorities have sealed off sections of the capital Islamabad, officials say, as the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase in cases and hospital admissions across the country.

Pakistan has registered 2,253 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, with an increase in active cases from 917 to 22,038, according to government data released on Monday.

At least 29 people died from the virus that day, data showed, bringing the total death toll in Pakistan since the start of the pandemic to 13,537.

Pakistan has had a lower rate of serious illness from COVID-19, but the country has faced at least two previous waves of widespread infections.

With low testing rates, experts say the actual number of cases is likely much higher than the recorded data.

On Sunday, the country’s test positivity rate was 5.11%, with 44,061 tests performed.

Authorities in the capital Islamabad said they would seal three neighborhoods on Monday, due to the rapid spread of the UK variant of the coronavirus.

“More areas are expected to be locked down,” the capital’s deputy commissioner’s office said. “A new variety of British variety is widespread in Islamabad.

“[Permissions] issued at all functions, festivals, gatherings withdrawn. Any type of indoor activity is not allowed. Outdoor functions are only allowed for two hours with less than 300 [people]. “

Cases nationwide have increased by 22,018 in the past 10 days, a 68% increase from the previous 10 days, according to official data.

Vaccination campaign for the elderly

Pakistan began the second phase of its coronavirus vaccination campaign last week, with people over the age of 60 eligible to enroll in to receive their first dose of Sinopharm vaccine.

Planning Minister Asad Umar on Sunday lamented that enrollment rates are still low, saying less than 10% of people over 60 have registered so far.

“There is a great need for people to register and get vaccinated,” Umar told private broadcaster Geo News.

“I’m calling on people – at least those over 60 – to sign up immediately so that we can finish vaccinating the high-risk group.”

Pakistan is currently administering vaccines from a stockpile of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Chinese government in January.

It has one of the lowest vaccination rates among countries that have launched large-scale campaigns, with just 0.09 vaccines per 100 citizens, compared to 37.15 in the UK, 31.93 in the US and 2.15 in neighboring India.

The country is expected to receive 14.6 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the global two-phase COVAX initiative.

Last week, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), which is leading the coronavirus response in Pakistan and is headed by Umar, suspended educational institutions for two weeks in 10 major cities, restricting hours of opening up businesses and reimposing a 50% work from home policy for offices.

On Sunday, the government of the country’s most populous province, Punjab, imposed even tighter restrictions, ordering all services except essential services to close on weekends and withdrawing permits for large gatherings and events sportsmen.

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