As many as 431 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Pakistan in the past 24 hours, taking the infection tally to 1,286,453.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre’s (NCOC) data, a total of 47,084 samples were tested, out of which 431 were declared positive, showing the positivity rate of 0.91 per cent, slightly higher than yesterday’s 0.84% per cent.

Eight more Covid patients died during the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 28,761.

The number of critical patients in various hospitals across the country has come down to 858.

Europe topped 75 million coronavirus cases on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as the region braces for the new Omicron variant at a time when hospitals in some countries are already strained by the current surge.

More than 15 countries in Europe have reported confirmed cases of the new variant that has rattled financial markets. The EU public health agency said the Omicron variant could be responsible for more than half of all Covid-19 infections in Europe within a few months.