Sharp rise in Covid positivity ratio in Pakistan

NIH data shows infectivity rate rising over one percent barrier: Depression increases after Covid pandemic even if one is not affected

By: News Desk
Published: 10:36 AM, 6 Mar, 2023
Covid Virus cases
Caption: Representational image.
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There was a sharp rise in the Covid-19 infectivity rate as Pakistan reported 50 more coronavirus cases with no fatality during the last 24 hours (Sunday), showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Monday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

According to the NIH data, the death toll in the country remained unchanged at 30,641 whereas the number of total infections now climbed up to 1,577,213 after adding the fresh 50 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Sunday), 4,472 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio shot up to 1.12 percent as compared to previous day’s 0.88%. The number of patients in critical care stood at 10.


Depression increases after Covid pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of people, regardless of whether they had Covid-19 or not, a new study shows. 

Researchers studied nearly 136,000 patients and found that depression symptoms had increased significantly during the pandemic. More than half of all patients reported feeling depressed, which can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease.

The researchers found that it was important to screen and treat patients for depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to help them lead healthier lives now and in the future. These mental health problems are linked to higher rates of high blood pressure, metabolic disease, and heart disease.

The study found that depression symptoms were significant among all patients, whether they were infected with Covid-19 or not. Researchers looked at the scores of the first Patient Healthcare Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), which is used to screen for depression, and found a significant increase in PHQ-9 scores during the pandemic.

The researchers analysed the scores on the questionnaire, which categorised patients’ depression levels into four categories: none (<10), mild (10-14), moderate (15-19) and severe (>20). They found a significant increase in the mean PHQ-9 score of 1.5 points over time, indicating an overall rise in depression symptoms.

Furthermore, the study found that, before the Covid-19 pandemic, about 45% of patients reported some degree of depression. However, starting in 2021, this number increased to 55% of patients showing at least some degree of depression. Notably, there was no significant difference in scores between Covid positive and negative patients.

Depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD have been linked to higher rates of high blood pressure and higher levels of cortisol, which can lead to calcium buildup in the arteries, metabolic disease, and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Therefore, the findings of this study highlight the importance of screening for and treating depression to improve overall patient health, both now and in the future.

Categories : Topics, Health