- Pakistan reports 789 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours.
- New infections put Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio at 3.63%.
- Four people succumb to COVID-19 and 588 others recover overnight.
The COVID-19 positivity ratio in Pakistan slightly declined to 3.63% as the country logged at least 789 new cases in the last 24 hours, the National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH) data showed Thursday morning.
As many as 21,741 coronavirus tests were conducted that reported a positivity ratio of 3.63%, as compared to the 3.85% rate of yesterday. The number of total positive cases surged to 1,556,445.
Meanwhile, the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 went up to 1,517,032. As many as four people succumbed to the disease during the treatment, taking Pakistan’s coronavirus death toll to 30,499.
At least 160 COVID-19 patients are being treated in intensive-care units of different hospitals across the country.
Pakistanis advised to mask up
With Pakistan logging hundreds of COVID-19 cases every day, the NIH has advised strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), including mask wearing and social distancing during Muharram gatherings.
Gathering and majalis to remember the Shuhada-e-Karbala (martyrs of Karbala) have started as the country observes the new Islamic year — which began on Sunday (July 31).
What are the SOPs for Muharram?
NIH has restricted the elderly and children from attending the gatherings and majalis during Ashura in a COVID-safe manner, as the risk of another outbreak looms with an uptick of the virus across Pakistan.
Following are the guidelines for holding gatherings and processions
- COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures i.e mask-wearing, social distancing and use of sanitisers/ hand washing should be adhered to
- Organising committees should make arrangements for all SOPs
- Zakirs and participants should be vaccinated against COVID-19
- Venue for conduct of Majalis should be open and spacious with proper
- ventilation arrangements
- Wearing of masks and maintenance of social distancing is mandatory during majalis and Processions. Availability of masks and sanitisers/ hand washes
- Controlled participation according to capacity of venues and avoidance of overcrowding
- Duration of majalis and processions should be curtailed
- Majalis where SOPs cannot be effectively implemented such as
- homes and private gatherings should be discouraged
- Elderly above 65 years, children and co-morbid may be sensitized to
- attend Majalis at home through live streaming
- Proper arrangements for cleaning venues with chlorine before and after the events
- Display of COVID-19 SOPs and precautions at prominent places
- SOPs compliance by employing volunteer scouts
- Arrangements for food and drinks in spacious and ventilated place.
- Emphasis on use of disposable utensils; preference on pre-packaged boxes for distribution of food.
- Avoiding overcrowding at food distribution points/locations.
- No handshake and embracing.
Areas of focus
Some of the aspects meriting necessary actions at the federal and federating units level, include following:
- Messaging by religious clerics for uniform implementation of SOPs /guidelines proposed by NCOC.
- Strict enforcement of SOPs by civil administration.