Pakistan reports six corona deaths, 348 cases as Omicron sneaks in

England and Wales suffer another worst day of infections: Finland shuts out unjabbed foreigners

By: News Desk
Published: 08:16 AM, 29 Dec, 2021
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A member of the public receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine inside a vaccination centre set up at Grim's Dyke Golf Club in northwest London.–AFP
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Pakistan has recorded another six deaths and 348 infections from coronavirus pandemic during the last 24 hours (Tuesday) as cases of the Omicron variant reported in the country’s major cities.

The latest figures released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday morning showed that after the addition of six new deaths, the overall toll has now surged to 28,918 whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,294,379 after adding the fresh 348 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), a total of 39,739 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.87 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 648.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), as many as 192 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,255,396. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 10,065.

As many as 481,096 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 444,752 in Punjab, 181,285 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 108,534 in Islamabad, 33,626 in Balochistan, 34,657 in Azad Kashmir and 10,429 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Moreover, 13,066 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 7,666 in Sindh, 5,924 in KP, 967 in Islamabad, 746 in Azad Kashmir, 363 in Balochistan and 186 in Gilgit Baltistan.


NIH confirms Omicron cases

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has confirmed that the toll from coronavirus' new Omicron variant in Pakistan has reached a total of 75 as of December 27. In a statement, the NIH noted the first case of the variant was reported on December 13 in Karachi.

The institution said since then, the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), NIH and provincial health departments have remained vigilant to detect the variant in Pakistan.

Thirty-three cases of the variant have been reported in Karachi, 17 in Islamabad, and 13 in Lahore, while 12 of the total 75 cases were associated with international travel, the NIH said.

The health institution said relevant authorities have isolated the patients and initiated contact tracing in order to control the spread of the variant.

"The vaccination and standard operations procedures (SOPs) continue to be our best defence against COVID-19 despite the mutations being reported," the NIH told the masses.

Also Read: WHO warns of Omicron overload as Europe imposes new curbs

The NIH noted that all government-approved Covid-19 vaccines available in Pakistan "remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalisation".

The NIH urged everyone to get both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and the booster dose as per the eligibility criteria and process.


Here are the global developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- US southern Africa travel ban ended -

President Joe Biden announces he is lifting a ban from Friday on travel from South Africa and other countries in the region, imposed due to fear of the Omicron variant.

- Record cases in England and Wales -

England and Wales report nearly 130,000 new coronavirus infections, a record daily tally as Omicron variant cases surge and the responses of the UK's four nations continue to diverge.

- China expands lockdown -

Hundreds of thousands of people in the city of Yan'an in northern China join millions already under strict lockdown as authorities race to contain a surge in Covid cases less than 40 days before the Beijing Winter Olympics.

- Belgian court suspends entertainment closures -

A Belgian court suspends the closure of concert halls, cinemas and other entertainment venues, a measure announced last week by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to stem the spread of Omicron.

- Finland shuts out unjabbed foreigners -

Finland announces it will block entry for foreign travellers who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, as it steps up its fight against Omicron.

- Omicron dominant in Netherlands, Switzerland -

Omicron has become the dominant coronavirus variant in the Netherlands and Switzerland, authorities say, while Greece and Portugal report new daily records of 21,657 and 17,172 new cases respectively.

- Record Spanish budget -

Spain's parliament gives final approval to the biggest budget in the country's history, as the government seeks to spur activity in an economy badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

- Covid looms over Maxwell trial -

US jurors resume their deliberations in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex crimes trial, with the judge expressing concern that New York City's "astronomical spike" in Covid cases could disrupt proceedings.

- Sports feel Covid pain -

The sports sector counts the cost after France becomes the latest country to impose limits on attendances at public events and as South Africa's cricket Test series with India takes place behind closed doors.

- Third Barca player positive -  

Barcelona's Spanish international left-back Jordi Alba becomes the third player for the La Liga club to test positive for Covid-19 this week.

- More than 5.4 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,404,577 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally Tuesday from official sources compiled by AFP.

Overall, the United States has recorded the most Covid deaths with 818,371, followed by Brazil with 618,534, India with 480,290 and Russia with 306,090.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.

With inputs from AFP.