ISLAMABAD: Pakistan saw a sudden surge in the daily Covid death count as the country reported 11 new deaths overnight, as given in the data from the National Institute of Health of Islamabad on Friday.
The country reported 624 new positive cases of Covid in the past 24 hours, and the positivity rate surged to 3.83 per cent. After the new deaths and recoveries, Pakistan's active case count moved to 9,256.
"Covid Statistics 12 August 2022 Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 16,299 Positive Cases: 624 Positivity %: 3.83% Deaths: 11 Patients on Critical Care: 142," NIH tweeted.
With this, the number of total Covid cases in Pakistan surfaced so far to 1,561,579. The last time the coronavirus death toll in the country rose this high was on March 3.
Meanwhile, 1,068 patients suffering from coronavirus recovered as well. Amid the potential risk of an outbreak, NIH has restricted the elderly and children from attending the gatherings.
It said, in the guidelines that Covid Standard Operating Procedures i.e mask-wearing, social distancing and use of sanitisers/ hand washing should be adhered to.
The novel coronavirus has affected 19,942 medics in Pakistan so far, said sources.
According to sources within the National Institute of Health (NIH), as many as 175 health workers have died across the country during the pandemic.
The sources said that so far 12,358 doctors, 2,687 nurses, and 4,897 other health staffers have been infected by Covid in the country.
They said 19,763 have so far recovered from the infection in Pakistan. Notably, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said he was worried that coronavirus case numbers were shooting up, putting more strain on health systems and workers.
Experts said that the two sub-variants of the Omicron variant, namely BA.4 and BA.5, are responsible for the spread of Covid.
They said that these variants have escaped mutations that are giving them an edge.
According to the World Health Organization's most recent report, it was behind 52 per cent of cases sequenced in late June, up from 37 per cent in one week. In the United States, it is estimated to be causing around 65 per cent of infections.
Experts also said that the sub-variants have also been infecting people who are already vaccinated or have already been infected with Covid, but no evidence is available to show if they are causing any severe disease among the vaccinated people, Geo News reported.
According to the website, BA.5, which is an omicron variant, is particularly good at evading the immune protection afforded either by vaccination or prior infection.
For this reason, "BA5 has a growth advantage over the other sublineages of Omicron that are circulating," Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead on COVID-19, said as quoted by Geo News.