Islamabad (Web Desk): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said on Friday that there are clear signs of a fourth wave of COVID-19 starting in Pakistan.
In a message on Twitter, he said, "Two weeks ago, I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing the possible emergence of a fourth wave. Now there are clear early signs of a fourth wave starting."
The minister blamed poor compliance with coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs) and spread of virus variants, particularly Delta variant that was first detected in India, for the looming fourth wave of COVID-19.
2 weeks back I had tweeted that our artifical intelligence models are showing possible emergence of 4th wave. Now there are clear early signs of 4th wave starting. Poor sop compliance, coupled with spread of variants of concern, indian variant in particular, are the main cause.— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) July 9, 2021
Asad Umar, in another tweet, said that field reports were showing a complete disregard of the condition of vaccination for those attending indoor weddings, and going to indoor restaurants and gyms.
"If the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility and ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down," he added.
Field reports are showing complete disregard of the condition of vaccination for those attending indoor weddings and going to indoor restaurants & gyms. If the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility & ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) July 9, 2021
The warning from the NCOC chief came after the country reported a positivity rate over 3% for three consecutive days.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan appealed the nation to strictly follow the SOPs to prevent fourth wave of COVID-19.
In a video message addressed to the nation, the premier said an upward trend in coronavirus cases is being witnessed these days.
“Wearing of face masks at the crowded and closed places is the simplest way to protect oneself from the pandemic,” PM Imran said.
He said the Indian COVID variant is currently the biggest issue for the entire world, including Pakistan.
The prime minister urged the general public to adhere to the preventative measures on the occasion of Eid ul Adha to stay safe.
He also called upon people to get vaccinated at the earliest.
On the other hand, government's COVID-19 portal shows that the number of daily cases dropped from four digits to three digits on June 25.
As per the data, the daily cases being reported remained close to the 900 mark till June 27 and further fell to 735 on June 28.
The number of cases gradually started increasing and doubled in just one week. The positivity rate, which stood at less than 2% in June, crossed 3% after a gap of 20 days.
On July 7, the NCOC also confirmed presence of different variants of coronavirus, including the Delta (Indian), Beta (South African) and Alpha (UK) variants, in Pakistan and detection of their cases in May and June.