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Umar stresses vaccinations to curb spread of Delta variant



ISLAMABAD:

National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar said on Friday that those who had not received even a single dose of Covid vaccine were over seven times more at risk of becoming infected by the virus or suffering its severe effects.

“It’s clear that those who have received even one dose are also in a better position than those who have not received any,” Umar said while addressing a news conference as he expressed concern over the potential risk of the Delta variant spreading in Pakistan.

“Those who get infected even after vaccination don’t suffer from its severe effects,” he maintained, adding that people had already been warned of the catastrophy that the variant had brought in the region.

“But the good news is that getting vaccinated will allow you to minimise the risk,” he added.

The NCOC chief said that individual efforts would help make families, society and ultimately, the country, safe.

“Once a large number of people have been vaccinated, Pakistan will be able to function fully,” Umar observed.

‘No visits to tourist spots’

Umar said those who haven’t received vaccinations will be barred from visiting tourist spots during Eid vacations.

Read More than 500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses administered on July 12: Umar

“Those who haven’t been vaccinated shouldn’t go to the tourist spots during Eid as they will be barred from entering those areas,” he stated.

“We have given the staff directives to stop all such people from entering the areas,” he added.

Vaccinations

Speaking of the number of vaccinations carried out in the country so far, the NCOC chief claimed that 6.2 million people had received both the doses of the vaccine and were hence, fully vaccinated now.

“We were able to vaccinate over 0.5 million people on each of the last four days,” he further added.

However, the NCOC chief maintained that this wasn’t enough as the country has vaccine doses available for even a greater number of population.

Concluding his address, Umar said, “So far, Pakistan has been escaping a severe situation, our economy is also becoming better, while the healthcare system hasn’t paralysed.

“Compliance of SOPs and vaccinations are two things to remember at this stage,” he added.

‘Positivity rate at 6 per cent’
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health (SAPM) Dr Faisal Sultan said that some 2,500 cases were being reported in the country on a daily basis.

“The positivity ratio in Pakistan is currently at almost five to six per cent,” he added.

According to the SAPM, the positivity ratio was 21 per cent in Muzaffarabad, 22 per cent in Gilgit and 20 per cent in Karachi at the moment.

“Those admitted in critical care in hospitals total about 2,400,” Dr Faisal said, adding that baseline during the current wave has already escalated.

“Delta variant is spreading at a fast pace and it is visible from the statistics as well. I urge the masses to wear facemasks, avoid crowds and get vaccinated at all costs,” the SAPM said.

A day earlier, the NCOC chief and Dr Faisal Sultan, the de facto health minister, presented Pakistan’s grim data of the pandemic in separate tweets.

The officials informed that the country’s positivity ratio stood at more than 5%, warning of a “rapid build-up” of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.

It was for the first time in two months that the single day tally of Covid cases topped 2,500 cases, along with the death toll of less than 50. According to a tweet from Dr Sultan, the positivity ratio remained 5.2%, the first time since 5.21% was recorded on May 24 this year.





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