A paramedic wearing protective gear at a glass booth, counting nose-swab samples to be tested for the coronavirus disease in Karachi. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Pakistan carries out highest Covid-19 tests in a day

Novel coronavirus positivity ratio continued to be stable at below 2%, says Asad Umar

APP September 24, 2020

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiative Asad Umar said on Thursday that highest number of tests of Covid-19 were carried out in the country in one day.

“Around 42,299 tests were carried out yesterday [Wednesday[ which is by far the highest ever,” he said in a tweet, adding that the positivity ratio continued to be stable at below 2 per cent.

The minister also said significant build-up in Covid-19 testing was done to carry out sentinel testing at educational institutions in order to identify early trends, if any.

According to update by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the country reported 799 new positive cases and five deaths during the last 24 hours.

So far, as many as 3,306,515 tests for coronavirus have been conducted in the country and 308,217 cases have been confirmed as corona positive.

Out of the confirmed cases, 294,392 patients have been recovered.

A study by country's leading blood diseases institute suggests that there is a slim chance of a second wave of the novel coronavirus here, further strengthening the government's policy of reopening of businesses and schools.

The cross-sectional study conducted from May to July at the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) Karachi, has been published by the Oxford University Press's Journal of Public Health. Titled, “Challenges in acquiring herd immunity for Covid-19”, the study conducted by a team of microbiologist, hematologists and pathologists, led by Dr Samreen Zaidi, includes nearly 1,700 people from three groups – health care, community and industrial workers.

It included adult male and female participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 60.

The study also conducted to assess antibodies levels in diverse a group of residents to comprehend prevalence in the community, revealed that 36% of the workforce of Karachi, the country’s largest city and commercial capital, have already developed immunity against the Covid-19.

"This study has been instigated to evaluate the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in different healthcare and community population from Karachi and with the aim of assessing the importance of seroprevalence in these groups," the report added.

The overall seroprevalence or the immunity rate, it said, is found to be 36% with the highest positivity in industrial employees (50.5%), whereas only 13% of health care workers tested positive.

Moreover, the community that comprised of healthy blood donors and walk-in patients for antibody testing had a 34% positivity rate.


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