The recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has prompted the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to issue new guidelines for citizens to follow until April 30, 2023. The NCOC is a central coordination body responsible for managing Pakistan’s response to the pandemic. It has advised people to wear masks in “crowded tightly enclosed spaces,” such as healthcare facilities, to help prevent the spread of the virus.
The uptick in cases is cause for concern, with the countrywide positivity ratio climbing to 2.98%. At least 14 patients are in critical care, highlighting the seriousness of the situation. As a result, the NCOC is urging people to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) is playing a vital role in monitoring the situation and tracking the prevalence of COVID-19 subvariants in the country. The NIH officials have stated that genomic surveillance is currently underway in Islamabad, but due to low positivity rates, only a few samples are available for sequencing. However, the last batch showed an increased prevalence of the Omicron subvariant XBB.
Despite this, NIH officials are reassuring citizens that there is no immediate threat of a major COVID-19 wave in Pakistan. However, they emphasize that the situation is being continuously monitored, and the authorities are prepared for any situation that may arise.
Meanwhile, scientists at the Aga Khan University have confirmed the presence of the XBB subvariant of the Omicron variant in the country. The subvariant has caused concern globally due to its high transmissibility and potential to cause severe illness. The scientists have reported their findings to the authorities in the country but have not yet observed the other two subvariants, including BF.7.
In conclusion, it is essential for citizens to follow the NCOC’s guidelines and take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The situation is being closely monitored, and NIH officials are prepared to respond quickly to any new developments. By working together and following the guidelines, we can help protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from this ongoing pandemic.