The coronavirus pandemic is attaining an alarming situation in Pakistan as more than 1,000 patients have been shifted to critical care across the country, according to official figures on Saturday.
The number of patients in critical care has reached 1,055, up from 961 on Friday, after the condition of 94 worsened in the last 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) data showed.
The positivity ratio stood at 11.10 percent, down from 12.93 percent a day ago, as 6,540 infections were reported after 58,902 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, the NCOC data showed.
Following the new infections, the overall cases have reached 1.36 million, while 12 more deaths have taken the toll to 29,077.
SCHOOLS CLOSURE: In light of rising coronavirus cases, the NCOC on Friday announced to close all schools across the country with a high COVID-19 positivity ratio for one week.
“Education institutions, premises, sections, specific classes with high positivity to be closed for one week,” the NCOC had said in a notification.
The notification added that the provincial administration, in consultation with district health, education authorities, and school administrations, are to set a threshold of cases for deciding such closures.
The NCOC had stated that COVID testing in education institutes was carried out in major Omicron hit cities to ascertain disease spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping.
Therefore, keeping in view the results, the NCOC has decided to conduct aggressive testing in educational institutes for the next two weeks, especially in high disease prevalence cities.
It also decided federating units would carry out special vaccination drives in schools to ensure 100 percent vaccination of students above 12 years of age.
SOPs FOR MOSQUES: Meanwhile, the NCOC issued fresh SOPs for mosques and worship places across the country.
Under the new SOPs, only vaccinated individuals are allowed to say prayers inside mosques or worship places while wearing face masks has been declared mandatory.
The worshippers will be required to maintain a social distancing of at least six feet and mosques have been asked to remove mats and carpets from their premises.
The NCOC has also advised elderly and comorbid persons to prefer offering prayer at home and maintain minimal attendance for the prayer.
The SOPs also recommended the use of hand sanitiser frequently and organising prayer in open spaces or ensure proper ventilation to contain the spread of the contagious disease.