Alarm bells have started ringing among the policymakers of the country as the nationwide positivity ratio of Pakistan jumped past 7% on Tuesday.
The data issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) showed that 2,511 people out of 35,303 tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours pushing the positivity ratio to 7.11%.
The situation in Federal Capital is more alarming where the positivity ratio has reached 7.7%, according to the District Health Officer.
The new positive cases have taken the national total to 609,964. The NCOC said that 11,089 cases have been reported in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 19,233 in Balochistan, 4,961 in Gilgit Baltistan, 48,495 in Islamabad, 76,379 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 188,225 in Punjab, and 261,582 in Sindh.
The total number of active coronavirus cases in Pakistan stands at 23,355.
On the other hand, the country also lost 58 people to the deadly virus in the last 24 hours with the most deaths occurring in Punjab followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The new deaths take the national tally of coronavirus deaths to 13,595. The breakdown showed that 4,461 patients have died in Sindh, 5,812 in Punjab, 2,169 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 526 in Islamabad, 202 in Balochistan, 103 in Gilgit Baltistan, 322 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
NCOC asks provinces to take action against SOPs violations
Amid the rising cases, the NCOC on Monday advised the provincial administrations of all federating units to take strict administrative actions against the masses flouting standard operating procedures (SOPs) of COVID-19.
The body emphasised the provincial authorities ensure a massive crackdown against all those failing to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs or alternate measure to treat the pandemic other than medical treatment).
Several representatives of the business community from Islamabad and Punjab attended a meeting via video-link on Sunday, The Express Tribune reported.
All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran and Islamabad Traders Action Committee President Ajmal Baloch told the newspaper that the announcement was concerning for traders, adding that Covid had ravaged businesses and they were unable to bear expenses such as rent, salaries of employees, and utility bills.
Baloch said that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) withdrew the relief given to the traders under utility bills. Despite that, they paid full taxes.