Pakistan records steady coronavirus infections in 24 hours

NIH data shows sharp increase in Covid positivity ratio in GB cities: India reports 20,409 new Covid cases, 47 deaths: Study says testing people hours before an event can reduce virus transmission

By: News Desk
Published: 10:15 AM, 29 Jul, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: White House staff applaud as US President Joe Biden walks into the Rose Garden to deliver remarks on Covid-19.–AFP
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The number of everyday coronavirus infections in Pakistan remained steady as the country reported 693 new cases and one death during the last 24 hours (Thursday), showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Friday morning.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country now moved up to 30,483 after adding the single fatality while the number of total infections now stood at 1,553,325 after adding the fresh 693 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Thursday), 20,678 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.35 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 177.

The maximum positivity ratio during the last 24 hours was recorded in Gilgit which was at 22.50 percent, followed by Muzaffarabad at 19.44, Swabi at 13.04, Lahore at 12.00, Nowshehra at 11.11, Mardan 10.10, Abbottabad at 6.25, Islamabad at 6.12, Peshawar at 5.74, Faisalabad at 5.67 and Karachi at 1.73 percent.

During the last 24 hours (Thursday), another 798 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,514,535. As of Friday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 8,307.

As many as 590,634 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 512,832 in Punjab, 221,260 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 137,331 in Islamabad, 35,785 in Balochistan, 43,613 in Azad Kashmir and 11,870 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,587 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,178 in Sindh, 6,329 in KP, 1,027 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


India reports 20,409 new Covid cases, 47 deaths

India on Friday reported a total of 20,409 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall number of Covid-related infections in the country to 4,39,79,730.

The active Covid-19 cases decreased to 1,43,988, according to the Health Ministry data. According to government data, India also reported 47 Covid-related fatalities, taking the total number of deaths to 5,26,258.

The active cases comprise 0.9 percent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.5 per cent, the ministry said.

Testing people hours before an event can reduce Covid-19 transmission: Study

Testing individuals hours before attending a social event can nearly half Covid-19 transmission rates, a new study by the Yale School of Public Health epidemiologists has found.

Researchers said in the study, published in the International Journal of Public Health on Tuesday, that a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours or more before arriving at a location is not enough to protect against transmission and only lowers transmission by around four per cent compared to testing not at all.

But, testing for Covid-19 on the same day reduces transmission by roughly 40 per cent, and when the test is done closer to the time of the event, the risk decreases even more, potentially up to 46.7 per cent, researchers said. 

“We’re not the first people to say that you should test closer to an event,” Jeffrey Townsend, senior author of the study, said in a release. “But this study really nails it down: it matters an enormous amount—and here’s the curve that shows it.”

According to Townsend, if a rapid antigen test is performed too early it may be unable to identify small amounts of the virus before a sufficient load is present to cause a positive result.

Someone who tested negative, but was unknowingly infected, could quickly spread the virus to others just a couple of hours later, he said.

“Typically, the disease has a very short period where it is really highly transmissible,” Townsend said. “Go back just a little bit of time, and there’s often hardly any virus in you, compared to just a little later, when your viral load could be surging.”

Townsend and other collaborators employed statistical modelling to see how transmission varied with testing at various intervals. The researchers also evaluated more than a dozen different rapid antigen home tests to determine whether the kind of test individuals use would be a factor in lowering transmission risk.

They discovered that in some circumstances -- such as when testing right before an event -- rapid antigen tests are more efficient than RT-PCR tests because they produce results quickly.

The study suggests that testing 12 hours beforehand can still be helpful if testing right before a social event is not possible.

According to the researchers' calculations, testing conducted 12 hours before an event can lower the likelihood of Covid transmission by more than 25 per cent. If testing is done 24 hours in advance, the risk reduces by less than 20 per cent, the researchers said.