Covid-19 resurgence – 14 Jul 2022

With monsoon rains impeding people’s ability to get tested and vaccinated, everyone should be extra cautious

Whilst people have been focused on the devastating monsoon rains, the Covid-19 positivity rate is rapidly surging across the country. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Karachi recorded the highest positivity ratio of almost 39% followed by Islamabad where the rate is more than 7%. Lahore, Peshawar, and Hyderabad have also reported an infection rate of over 2%. Even though high positivity ratios may not necessarily indicate another outbreak, there is an increased risk of a sixth wave amid a global resurgence.

Many countries including Pakistan rolled back on SOPs after cases declined. Now with a reduction in surveillance including testing and sequencing, it is particularly challenging to determine the impact of the sub-variants that are driving up hospitalisations and death rates. Thus, the WHO urged countries to continue implementing necessary measures to reduce transmission and improve immunity amongst the people. If countries fail to curb transmission, new and stronger variants can emerge with different degrees of virulence, transmissibility, and immune escape potential. Local health authorities have expressed fear of a rapid increase in cases during Eid-ul-Azha and the upcoming month of Muharram. With the country-wide monsoon rains impeding people’s ability to get tested and vaccinated, everyone should be extra cautious during this time and must self-isolate if they experience any symptoms.

Earlier, the NCOC also advised all provinces and regions to prioritise administering booster shots. Therefore, people who have received full vaccination should get a booster shot and those who have already gotten one booster dose should get a second booster shot. Both the authorities and the public must take timely steps to control the virus and reduce hospitalisations and death rates. Otherwise, a sixth wave will become inevitable, which would crumple our frail healthcare system and have a disastrous impact on the economy. We must avoid such a catastrophe because most people will not be able to survive another lockdown.

Read more