Pakistan records 333 corona cases, two deaths as masks return for travellers

NIH data shows positivity ration stands at 2.42%: India logs 11,793 cases, 27 deaths: Covid-19 booster shots provide greater protection against Omicron in Sydney

By: News Desk
Published: 10:08 AM, 28 Jun, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A health worker inoculates a girl under 11 years old with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 in Mexico City.–AFP
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As the latest wave of coronavirus pandemic seemed to have been spreading, Pakistan has reported another 333 Covid-19 infections and two deaths during the last 24 hours (Monday) with the wearing of facemasks making a comeback for all kinds of travellers, showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Tuesday morning.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in Pakistan has now climbed to 30,392 after adding the two fatalities whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,534,603 after adding the fresh 33 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Monday), 13,759 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 2.42 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 85.

During the last 24 hours (Monday), another 105 patients recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,499,353. As of Tuesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 4,858.

As many as 579,778 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 508,167 in Punjab, 219,946 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 136,042 in Islamabad, 35,531 in Balochistan, 43,380 in Azad Kashmir and 11,759 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,570 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,111 in Sindh, 6,324 in KP, 1,026 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Amid steep rise in coronavirus infections, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) had again made it mandatory to wear masks during travelling in any kind of public transport.

According to the new directions, wearing a mask will be mandatory for travel on all domestic flights, trains and other public transport.

According to the National Institute of Health, there was a slight increase being witnessed in the coronavirus cases in some parts of the country and keeping this fact in view, the NCOC has again imposed the SOPs during the travel.

The NIH has appealed to the citizen to follow the SOPs and wear masks during the travel to keep them safe from coronavirus.

 

India logs 11,793 cases, 27 deaths

India recorded 11,793 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of COVID-19 cases to 4,34,18,839. According to the Union Health Ministry data updated today, the active cases rose to 96,700.

The death count climbed to 5,25,047 with 27 new fatalities in India.

The active cases comprise 0.21 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.58 per cent, the ministry said.

The active cases comprise 0.21 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.58 per cent, the ministry said.

Covid-19 booster shots provide greater protection against Omicron in Sydney

Sydneysiders who received a third coronavirus vaccination were less likely to be hospitalised or die from an Omicron infection during the height of the city’s wave, as public health experts urge people to come forward for overdue boosters.

Data from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), published on Tuesday, showed a third COVID-19 vaccine dose in middle-aged and older adults provided 65 per cent greater protection against hospitalisation or death from the virus than only two shots.

“At that point, a lot of people just had two doses, and a number were having their third, but even now we still have many people who are yet to get that booster shot,” said Associate Professor Bette Liu, the study’s lead author and a UNSW researcher.

Third-dose rates have stalled at about 64 per cent of NSW residents aged 16 and over. People become eligible for the shot three months after their second dose, but the shots can also be administered after this time.

The research, which has been published online by The Lancet but not yet peer reviewed, looked at data from more than 2 million people living in Greater Sydney aged 40 and over in January and February.

A particular benefit was seen in vaccinations for people aged 70 and over, with one hospitalisation or death prevented for every 192 adults in this age group who received a booster vaccine.

The study occurred when Omicron’s BA.1 sub-variant was dominant. But now infectious diseases experts are keeping an eye on the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, which are driving a rise in infections and hospitalisations abroad.

NSW Health expects these new sub-variants will soon take over from BA.2 to become dominant in Australia, predicting an increase in infections and reinfections in the coming weeks.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is developing an Omicron-specific vaccine, recently publishing results showing it was safe and better targeted the variant. But Liu said the NCIRS data showed existing vaccines did work against severe illness from Omicron, urging the 35 per cent of the public who have not received a booster to do so.

“[Omicron-specific vaccines] are in development, but we do not have them here and now, and we have winter bearing down on us,” Liu said. “The vaccines we have now still protect us against severe disease and that is what we need to focus on now because that is what is going to fill up our hospitals.”

University of Queensland vaccine researcher Associate Professor Paul Griffin said the NCIRS data was expected, noting measures of vaccine efficacy would vary based on the virus variants in circulation at the time.

“Even if we are seeing that partial immune escape [from Omicron sub-variants], that is still a really good result,” he said.