Uptick in infections as Pakistan records 4th consecutive corona death-free day

NIH reports positivity ratio stands at 0.58% while number of critical patients drops to 291: EU watchdog approves second Covid booster for over 80s: Covid increases risk of blood clots for up to six months: Study

By: News Desk
Published: 09:13 AM, 7 Apr, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A nurse administers a Covid-19 booster vaccination to a woman at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic in San Rafael, California. The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a second Covid-19 booster of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for people over 50 years old four months after their first booster.–AFP
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Pakistan has reported the fourth consecutive coronavirus death-free day as the number of single-day infections stood at 170 during the last 24 hours (Wednesday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Thursday morning.

As per the latest NIH data, the death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged for the fourth continuous day at 30,361, whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,525,923 after adding the fresh 170 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Wednesday), 28,967 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.58 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 291.

During the last 24 hours (Wednesday), as many as 70 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,486,534. As of Thursday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 9,198.

As many as 576,037 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 505,267 in Punjab, 219,201 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 135,110 in Islamabad, 35,479 in Balochistan, 43,283 in Azad Kashmir and 11,716 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,558 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,097 in Sindh, 6,322 in KP, 1,023 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


EU watchdog approves second Covid booster for over 80s

The EU medicines watchdog on Wednesday approved a second Covid booster jab for people aged 80 and over, but said it was too early to make a finding on other age groups.

The announcement by the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control comes as many countries drop coronavirus measures despite a continued spike in infections.

"A fourth dose (or second booster) can be given to adults 80 years of age and above after reviewing data on the higher risk of severe Covid-19 in this age group and the protection provided by a fourth dose," a combined EMA and ECDC statement said.

However a combined EMA-ECDC task force have concluded that it is too early to consider using a fourth vaccine dose to he general population, they said.

There is currently no clear evidence that immunity is waning in people aged 60 to 79 with normal immune systems "and thus no clear evidence to support the immediate use of a fourth dose".

"If the current epidemiological situation changes and new signals emerge, it may become necessary to consider a fourth dose in this age group," the agencies said.

"For adults below 60 years of age with normal immune systems, there is currently no conclusive evidence that vaccine protection against severe disease is waning or that there is an added value of a fourth dose," they said.

More than two years into the pandemic, which has officially caused more than six million deaths -- with the true figure believed to be several times as high -- the resurgence in cases can mainly be blamed on the spread of infectious sub-lineages of the Omicron variant, particularly BA.2, the EMA said last month.

The regulator has so far approved five vaccines for use in the EU: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

Covid increases risk of blood clots for up to six months

People who have had Covid-19 have an increased risk of developing serious blood clots for up to six months after getting infected, even in mild cases, a study said Thursday.

Previous research has indicated that Covid raises the risk of blood clots, but the new study in the BMJ medical journal shows how long the threat can linger

To find out, researchers compared data from more than a million people in Sweden's national registries who contracted Covid from February 2020 to May 2021, with a control groups of over four million who did not test positive.

They found that those with Covid had a higher risk of pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that blocks arteries in lungs, up to six months after infection.

There was also an increased danger of deep vein thrombosis -- a blood clot normally in legs -- up to three months after contracting Covid.

After adjusting for a range of factors, they found a 33-fold increase in the risk of pulmonary embolism for those who had Covid, as well as a five-fold rise for deep vein thrombosis.

People who suffered severe symptoms from Covid those with pre-existing conditions were more at risk, the study found.

But even people who had mild cases that did not need hospitalisation had a higher danger of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

The chance of clotting was higher during the first wave of the pandemic than later stages, which the researchers said was due to vaccine coverage and better treatments as time went on.

The researchers said their findings had "major policy implications", calling for more treatment to prevent blood clots from developing, particularly in high risk cases. 

They also emphasised that their results highlighted the importance of getting vaccinated.

In a linked editorial, researchers from the University of Glasgow not involved in the study said it "reminds us of the need to remain vigilant to the complications associated with even mild SARS-CoV-2 infection".

With inputs from AFP.