Pakistan’s covid death rate lowest in South Asia: Asad Umar thumbnail

Pakistan’s covid death rate lowest in South Asia: Asad Umar

Pakistan saw the least number of coronavirus-related deaths per million population in the South Asian region, Federal Planning and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar has said.

In a tweet, the minister said 102 people per million lost their lives due to Covid-19 in Pakistan while the following countries in the region saw much higher death tolls:

  • Iran: 1,037
  • Nepal: 326
  • India: 301
  • Sri Lanka: 186
  • Afghanistan: 160
  • Bangladesh: 113

“Timely decisions, hard work, cooperation of people, and blessings of Allah made this possible,” he tweeted, adding that the risk is not over. He advised people to follow SOPs and vaccinate.

Umar’s tweet comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the country. As many as 1,425 new cases were recorded on Friday, in what is being called the fourth wave of the pandemic in Pakistan.

The Delta variant is predominant in the recent spike, Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said in an interview on SAMAA TV programme Nadeem Malik LIVE on Monday, he said that the exact percentage of the variant can’t be determined because that will require “sequencing”.

Dr Sultan called the rising infection rate in big cities
such as Karachi and Lahore alarming. “We are aware that when new mutations
and variants of a virus are found, they are more transmissible.”

On Friday, the Sindh government decided to tighten
restrictions across the province as it continues to battle the third wave of
the coronavirus.

The positivity rate in Sindh is 10.3%, the task force
participants were informed. Karachi’s situation is worsening by the day. At
least 1,002 patients are in critical care.

‘Delta wild’ variant

Health experts in Sindh have discovered a new mutation of
the coronavirus’ Delta variant – Delta wild or Delta Plus.

On Monday, the province reported six cases of the “Delta
wild” variant, the province’s health secretary, Qasim Soomro, confirmed.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Delta
Plus/wild variant contains a new mutation in the spike protein of the novel
coronavirus. It enters human cells and is called K417N.

Closely linked to the Delta variant, the new mutation has been named “Delta Plus” by the WHO’s naming system for COVID-19 variants. So far, the Delta Plus variant has been reported in relatively low numbers across the world.

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