Positivity rate spikes due to drop in daily Covid tests

NIH data shows no significant change in infections: Will new Covid-19 wave in Australia mean return to masks?

By: News Desk
Published: 10:33 AM, 14 Nov, 2022
Positivity rate spikes due to drop in daily Covid tests
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The Covid-19 positivity ratio has skyrocketed in Pakistan after the authorities slashed the number of daily tests.

Pakistan has detected 41 more Covid-19 infections and 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.

The death toll in the country remained the same at 30,629 whereas the number of total infections now rose to 1,574,680 after adding the fresh 41 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Sunday), 4,487 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.91 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 44. 

Will new Covid-19 wave in Australia mean return to masks?

Australia is in the midst of a new COVID-19 wave, with significant increases in case numbers recorded across the country in the past week.

New cases have jumped by 63 percent in Victoria from 10,226 to 16,636, while weekly infections in NSW have risen by more than 7,000 to 19,800.

Hospitalisations are increasing as well, with the number of patients being treated in Queensland doubling in just seven days.

Professor Adrian Esterman, chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australia, said that's because there are three big things happening at the same time.

The first is that many people in Australia have waning immunity from vaccination and previous infection.

"It's now seven months since my last dose, and that means that by now I have a much-reduced protection against COVID-19, and that includes serious illness and death," Professor Esterman told SBS News.

"So although I'll still have some protection, it’s nowhere near as strong as it was seven months ago, and many people are in that situation."

The second is that new Omicron subvariants have arrived in Australia, including XBB and BQ.1.

"They've really taken over in places like Singapore and France, and they're starting to take over here," Professor Esterman said.

"[The subvariants] are much more transmissible than BA.5, they're much better at evading our immunity, and they would alone cause an increase in cases, never mind waning immunity."

The final thing in the mix is the removal of public health measures, such as mandatory isolation and mask-wearing in indoor settings.

Categories : Topics, Health