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Omicron threat: Sindh mulls schools closure, restriction on businesses

KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department has mulled over restricting business hours and closing down educational institutions in Karachi as the metropolis becomes the most affected by Omicron, the new variant of coronavirus.

The rising Omicron cases have led to a discussion in the health department to recommend curtailing business hours in the metropolis. Moreover, the schools in districts where higher numbers of cases are being reported will also be shut down.

The Sindh health department has said that the decision would be taken in two to three days. The positivity ratio in Karachi has reached 8.91 percent. As many as 236 people have tested positive in Karachi after 2650 underwent the COVID test.

The rate of vaccination is also lowest in Karachi as compared to other cities in the country as only 40 percent of the population has gotten themselves vaccinated.

Earlier, the Sindh government said that the prevalence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has reached up to 50% in the province especially in Karachi.

Sindh Task Force on coronavirus confirmed that the fifth wave of COVID-19 has reached Karachi, dominated by the Omicron variant of the disease. According to provincial health authorities, 351 samples of COVID-19 positive cases were analyzed, of which 175 people were found to be infected with the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, the CM directed the authorities to increase vaccinations in Karachi and Hyderabad and take action against those who violate SOPs.

According to experts, the new variant is spreading faster than Delta but as genome sequencing is rarely performed on patients in Pakistan the main assumption is that the rise in cases seems to be a result of the Omicron variant’s transmission.

 

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