Karachi’s coronavirus positivity rate surges to over 30%

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Residents with their registration cards gather at a counter to receive a dose of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination center in Karachi, Pakistan June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

KARACHI: The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Karachi hard as the virus positivity rate in the port city surged to 30.58%, according to a report. According to Sindh health department officials, 1,704 people tested positive when 5,571 tests were conducted at 24 testing facilities in the metropolis over the past 24 hours. “The positivity of cases is continuously rising in Karachi, and we are still far from peak of this wave. With an alarmingly high number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalisation has reached record numbers and now most of the tertiary-care health facilities are unable to cope up with the pressure of patients,” an official of the health department told the publication. Officials at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) were highly perturbed over the increasing positive cases in Karachi and urged the provincial health authorities to ramp up vaccination as millions of vaccine doses of six different vaccines were available in Pakistan. They asked the provincial administration to go for wider lockdowns in areas where the bulk of the cases were being reported. A health department official said three oxygen tanks had been installed at the Sindh Services Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad and Sindh Government Hospital Korangi, while two more oxygen tanks would be installed at the Sindh Government Qatar Hospital and Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi to make room for hundreds of patients being brought to treatment facilities. “Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has also urged the private hospitals’ owners to show compassion and help the government in treating patients as many patients are not visiting the private health facilities due to their exorbitant charges. But it is highly unlikely that private hospitals would respond to the Sindh government’s appeal,” the official added. Over the past 24 hours, COVID-19 claimed 20 more lives in Sindh, mostly in Karachi, taking the death toll to 5,860 in the province, while 2,517 new cases emerged when 18,737 tests were conducted, CM Shah said in his daily report. He added that with 5,860 deaths, the COVID-19 mortality rate stood at 1.6 per cent. Shah said 18,737 samples were tested, which detected 2,517 cases, constituting 13.4 per cent current detection rate in the province. So far 4,927,434 tests have been conducted against which 371,745 people have tested positive. Of them 88.8 percent of 330,166 patients have recovered, including 6,590 overnight. Currently 35,719 patients are said to be under treatment in Sindh. Of them 34,405 were in home isolation, 45 at isolation centres and 1,269 at hospitals. The condition of 1,137 patients was stated to be critical, including 96 shifted onto ventilators. Of the 2,517 new cases, 1,989 have been reported from Karachi. According to the report, District East reported 645 cases, District South 372, District Central 357, District Korangi 346, District Malir 200, and District West 69 cases.

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