COVID-19 case count nears 800-mark once again in Pakistan

    A paramedic takes a testing sample from a man during an earlier nationwide lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.— AFP/File
    • Out of 22,099 samples, 779 come back positive for coronavirus.
    • New infections push Pakistan’s COVID positivity rate to 3.53%.
    • Two more people succumb to COVID-19 overnight.

    The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has once again reared its head as the country reported 779 new infections in a single day, National Institute of Health, Islamabad (NIH) data showed Friday morning.

    The last time Pakistan reported over 700 cases was on July 9 when 732 infections had surfaced.

    The new infections were detected after diagnostic testing on 22,099 samples across the country, which pushed Pakistan’s COVID-19 positivity rate to 3.53% and the total case count to 1,544,910.

    Meanwhile, two people succumbed to coronavirus overnight during the course of treatment, while 182 patients are still being treated in critical care units at different medical facilities across the country. However, 1,314 patients also recovered during the last 24 hours.

    After the new deaths and recoveries, the number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 9,665.

    Experts blame two sub-variants of the Omicron variant, namely BA.4 and BA.5, for the rise in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, saying that they have escape mutations that are giving them an edge.

    They say the sub-variants have also been infecting people who are already vaccinated or have already been infected with COVD-19, but no evidence is available to show if they are causing any severe disease among the vaccinated people.