ISLAMABAD - The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) yesterday warned that the Covid-19 positivity rate is rapidly increasing in major cities of the country with the infection rate exceeding 15 percent in at least three cities. 

The forum met to discuss the surge in Covid-19 positivity ratio and recent enforcement measures taken in the light of the recent decisions of National Coordination Committee (NCC), said a statement issued by the NCOC. 

“The forum noticed that the positivity ratio in major cities is increasing rapidly with overall nationwide positivity ratio is 4.5 percent in the country.”

The meeting warned that 15 major cities across Pakistan have higher positivity ratio.

Among these, Hyderabad is having highest positivity ratio at 16.59 percent followed by Gilgit 15.38 percent, and Multan 15.97 percent. Similarly, Muzaffarabad is having positivity ratio at 14.12 percent followed by Mirpur 11.11 percent, Peshawar 9.69 percent, Quetta 8.03 percent, Islamabad 7.48 percent, Karachi 7.12 percent, Lahore 5.37 percent and Rawalpindi 4.63 percent.

The meeting was informed that 4136 micro small lockdowns are in place across Pakistan. Trace, Test and Quarantine (TTQ) strategy is being used for disease control and prevention of Covid-19 spread.

The NCOC was informed that recent health guidelines will remain enforce in 16 major cities of the country till January 31, 2021.

The provincial chief secretaries updated the forum on administrative measures being taken on fresh guidelines in higher positivity ratio cities in their respective provinces and enforcement efforts regarding face mask wearing and arrangements for outdoor weddings.

According to the details provided by NCOC, total 2,811 oxygenated beds have been included in the existing health infrastructure to ramp up hospitals’ capacity and over 13,000 oxygen cylinders have been issued to various provinces and federating units.

“NCOC appreciated efforts of provinces for taking prompt and necessary measures in line of health guidelines for public safety and well-being.”

A day earlier, the NCOC had issued fresh guidelines for weddings to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

According to them, indoor weddings will be banned starting November 20 while outdoor weddings will be allowed with a maximum of 1,000 people permitted to attend. The timings of the event were restricted to two hours with 10pm as the cutoff time while it would be mandatory for all guests to wear masks.

The buffets were banned while the organizers were permitted to arrange only lunch boxes, according to the guidelines.