Once again the country is in the grip of spreading Covid-19 as the number of cases have started surging in various parts of the city. Reportedly, a total of 171 confirmed cases have been confirmed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the past 24 hours amid the latest surge in Corona cases. No deaths have been reported so far and the national positivity rate stands at 1.53 per cent, whereas that of Sindh has been recorded to be as high as five per cent. The rapid spread of Corona virus in Sindh particularly in Karachi is ringing alarm bells while the ratio of Covid-19 victims is also surging in other major cities of Pakistan. As per media reports, the rate of Covid positive cases was recorded at 10.08 per cent in Karachi and 16.67pc in Hyderabad, while in in Islamabad it was recorded at 2.27pc whereas, in Lahore, the infection rate was reported at 1pc.
These worrying figures have renewed concerns about citizens’ health and call for extra vigilance. This is the sixth wave and nobody knows how many more waves and variants of this virus can hit our cities. Recurrent contagious diseases like initial waves of Covid-19 have already exacerbated the situation and exposed the vulnerability of the Sindh government’s healthcare system. In terms of population, Karachi is the biggest city of the country. Most of the population lives in congested places where the chances of catching the virus are high. Ironically, the virus spreads more rapidly at places where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
Amid this scenario, the government of Sindh need to take prompt measures to save a large number of citizens from this current wave of Corona virus. Having far greater transmissibility than previous strains, spreading much faster globally and being more readily able to evade vaccination, any strategy has to be several steps ahead of developments. There can be no room for unscientific or knee-jerk responses; despite the uncertainties, the city has to be prepared and able to prevent the outbreak. New measures move in that direction, although given the risk and threat, more effort is obviously necessary. As the disease cannot be contained due to various factors, only the vaccination is a current solution to ward off the disease.
Until vaccines that offer protection are available, the best strategy to slow its spread is vaccination and booster shots. A tough anti-Covid policy and a population closely adhering to mask-wearing, cleanliness and social distancing can ensure to avert local outbreak. Much is still not known about virus variants and authorities need to follow the science and be prepared.