Infectivity rate slides as Pakistan reports 156 daily corona cases

NIH data shows only one fatality with number of critical patients lowers to below 100: North Korea to begin Covid-19 vaccine campaign around November

By: News Desk
Published: 11:15 AM, 10 Sep, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: The advance election for Okinawa Governor has been held in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture on September 10, 2022. Voters wear facemasks amid a pandemic of the new coronavirus Covid-19.–AFP
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Infectivity rate has dropped below one percent as Pakistan reported another 156 daily coronavirus infections and one fatality during the last 24 hours (Friday), suggested the statistics released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Saturday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

According to NIH data, the death toll in the country has now crawled up to 30,599 while the number of total infections now stood at 1,570,952 after adding the fresh 156 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), 17,200 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.91 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 99.

North Korea to begin Covid-19 vaccine campaign around November

North Korea will begin vaccinating its people against Covid-19 around November, state media said Friday, about a month after the country declared victory over the virus.

It is the first time the isolated regime officially announced its plans for vaccination since the start of the pandemic.

"Along with responsible vaccine administration, we need to recommend that all citizens wear a mask to protect their own health starting November," leader Kim Jong Un said, according to Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Health experts in the country believe North Koreans' antibody levels -- acquired during the epidemic which the regime confirmed in May -- will decrease by October, Kim added.

Friday's KCNA report did not elaborate on where the vaccines were from.

The regime last year rejected planned shipments of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccines, arranged by the World Health Organization's COVAX scheme, due to concerns over side effects, according to a South Korean think tank.

The impoverished nation, which has maintained a rigid blockade since the start of the pandemic, confirmed an outbreak of the Omicron variant in the capital Pyongyang about four months ago.

Leader Kim -- who fell ill during the outbreak -- declared victory over the virus last month and ordered the lifting of the country's "maximum emergency epidemic prevention system" as officially reported cases fell to zero.

It had been believed that the North did not vaccinate any of its 26 million residents, but Seoul-based specialist site NK News has reported Pyongyang may have received some from its key ally China.

North Korea refers to "fever patients" rather than "Covid patients" in case reports, apparently due to a lack of testing capacity.

It has recorded nearly 4.8 million "fever" infections and just 74 deaths for an official fatality rate of 0.002 percent, according to state media.

Experts, including the World Health Organization, have long questioned Pyongyang's Covid statistics, as well as its claims to have brought the outbreak under control.

North Korea has one of the world's worst healthcare systems, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units and no Covid treatment drugs, according to experts.

With inputs from AFP.