ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday reported its highest single-day surge in coronavirus cases after three months, government data showed.
As per the data, the country reported 847 news cases on October 23 out of 31,009 samples taken by the health authorities. The country also reported 12 new deaths in the last 24 hours.
The last time such a spike was recorded on July 30 when more than 900 cases were detected.
The new increase has taken the number of positive cases in the country to 327,063, while the countrywide death toll has increased to 6,727.
Alarm bells ringing at NCOC
The spike comes a day after the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) sounded the alarm over the average positivity ratio registering 40% higher over the last four days than what was being recorded earlier.
During a morning session on Friday, officials from the NCOC — the apex body tasked with managing coronavirus in Pakistan — heard from health officials that the positivity ratio (which measures the percentage of actual coronavirus cases from total tests conducted) has increased.
The increasing danger of a second wave of the coronavirus is also evident in the increase in hospital admissions and a spike in the number of daily deaths, the forum was told.
“Forum noted that [it is] the fifth continuous day that positivity ratio is on the increase,” read a statement issued by the NCOC following the meeting. It also pointed out that coronavirus deaths in Pakistan are also on the rise.
“Muzaffarabad, Hyderabad, Karachi and Gilgit have a higher positivity ratio along with other areas across the country,” observed the NCOC.
It noted that hospital admissions were also on the rise across the country, particularly in Punjab. The NCOC was also informed that has been a marked increase in the number of critical patients being admitted to hospitals as well.
The NCOC was told that the country’s current case fatality rate has reached 2.06%, compared to the global rate which stands at 2.72%. It was also noted that 71% of total deaths are of males, out of which 76% have been over the age of 50.
The forum was also briefed by the Punjab chief secretary regarding the increasing figures in the province.
He told the NCOC that Punjab’s death ratio was 1.6% on September 1 but currently stood at 6% — a stark increase. He also added that the positivity ratio in the province has also increased from 0.92% to 1.33% currently.