Pakistan lowers booster dose age limit Covid positivity ratio in Karachi jumps to 31%

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The National Command and Operation Centre Friday announced that all citizens above 18 years can get the coronavirus vaccine’s booster jab, as the Omicron variant pushes infections across the country. The free booster dose will be administered to people after a six-month gap from when their vaccination was completed.

Pakistan had first started administering booster doses from December 1, 2021, for three groups i.e. healthcare workers, individuals above the age of 50, and those having a weak immune system and later, the age was lowered to 30 years and above on Dec 20.

The NCOC’s website shows that the country has administered more than 166 million vaccines, while more than 101 million are partially vaccinated. Pakistan’s coronavirus positivity ratio jumped over 7% as the country reported 3,567 new cases in the last 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Centre’s data showed Friday morning.

Meanwhile, amid an alarming situation of the Covid-19 situation in Karachi where the positivity ratio has reached 31%, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah Friday said the decision to impose lockdown in the city and close schools will be taken on the directives of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC).

The chief minister said this at an inauguration ceremony in Karachi when he was asked about the surge in Covid-19 in the metropolis.

“I think this is the highest positivity in Karachi,” Murad Ali Shah said, adding despite a surge in infections we are not seeing any pressure on hospitals and the number of patients on ventilators is also low. The CM said that any decision on lockdown and closure of schools in Karachi will be taken on the recommendation of the NCOC.

However, an official of the Sindh Health Department claimed that as hospitalisation was not increasing in the city, no drastic measures were under consideration to control the spread of Covid-19.

“We have decided that unless the hospitalisation increases up to 40-50% in Karachi, we are not going to take any drastic measures, MPA Qasim Soomro, parliamentary secretary health in the Sindh Assembly, told the madia on Thursday.

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