Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 1,288,053 on Thursday after 350 new cases surfaced in the country during the last 24 hours.
Overall 477,119 cases were confirmed in Sindh, 443,610 in Punjab, 180,471 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 33,514 in Balochistan, 107,989 in Islamabad, 10,414 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 34,586 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
As per the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data, 46,697 tests were conducted in last 24 hours while positivity ratio remained 0.74%.
According to the government's COVID-19 portal, the death toll related to coronavirus has reached to 28,803 with 10 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours.
Over the last twenty four hours, total number of recovered COVID-19 patients across the country reached 1,249,241 after another 2,355 virus recoveries were reported.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has reported its first case of the new coronavirus variant Omicron in Karachi.
According to the Sindh health department, a private hospital in Karachi reported the first case of the variant in a 65-year-old female patient. The infected woman was unvaccinated and has been discharged from the hospital.
The health department has also asked the Deputy commissioner East Karachi to impose a micro-smart lockdown.
Moreover, early data indicates the Omicron COVID variant may more easily reinfect people who have already had the virus or been vaccinated than previous variants, but could also cause milder disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
“Emerging data from South Africa suggests increased risk of reinfection with Omicron,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding that “there is also some evidence that Omicron causes milder disease than Delta.”
But he stressed that more data was needed before drawing firm conclusions, and urged countries everywhere to boost their surveillance to help provide a clearer picture of how Omicron is behaving.
Even if it does turn out that Omicron causes less severe disease, Tedros warned against slacking off vigilance against the virus. “Any complacency now will cost lives,” he warned.
It is pertinent to mention that the global coronavirus cases have reportedly surpassed 268.149 million and death toll tops 5,295,841.