ISLAMABAD – National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chief Asad Umar on Wednesday dismissed the rumors of lockdown to curb the spread of the Omicron variant in Pakistan.

PTI Minister who also heads the nerve center of Pakistan’s Covid response said that Omicron cases are increasing rapidly but authorities have no plan to impose lockdown in the country.

“There is no chance to impose another complete lockdown,” he clarified saying the government is closely monitoring the new and more contagious Omicron variant as a fresh pandemic peak comes as the cases are spreading simultaneously again.

He urged the public to adopt precautionary measures and get themselves vaccinated as Covid cases are increasing at a fast pace in the South Asian country.

Asad also warned people to avoid crowded places and to observe precautionary measures. He also cited examples from US, UK, and South Africa where Omicron cases have led to a manifold increase in hospitalization.

Sharing an alarming trend in Pakistan, the Federal Minister, who was flanked PM’s aide on Health said Karachi has witnessed a 940 percent increase in cases during the last two weeks while Punjab has seen a 185 percent increase in cases in last 10 days.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s Covid positivity ratio exceeded 2 percent in a single day for the first time since October 14 last year, while 1,085 new infections were detected during the last 24 hours. The new surge pushed the positivity rate to 2.32pc.

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