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Pakistan Closes NCOC Due to Low Cases of Coronavirus

Federal Minister Asad Umar announced that the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) was stopping its operations on 31st March 2022. The move came after COVID indicators reportedly hit an all-time low in Pakistan. Umar also said that the responsibility for coronavirus response had been transferred to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

This agency was established on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan in April 2020 to collect, analyze, and process data related to COVID-19. Before that, the initial response was led by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Khan commended the efforts of the command centre for a nationally coordinated response to the pandemic.

NCOC Publishes Promising Statistics

As per stats posted by NCOC, Pakistan reported zero COVID deaths for 2 straight days from March 23 to 24. In the latest report on 31st March 2022, the agency shared the results from the last 24 hours. It said that there were only 244 positive cases out of 29,625 tests. That is only a 0.82 positivity rate. However, 6 people did succumb to the deadly virus.

According to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker, infections are decreasing on a daily basis in Pakistan. The daily average is brought down to 245 new cases, which is about 3% of its peak of 8,183 on 27 January 2022. Pakistan has faced a total of 1,524,793 infections and 30,355 deaths due to coronavirus disease since the outbreak in February 2020.

How Many Vaccines are Administered in Pakistan?

Pakistan has reportedly administered at least 219,368,557 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. Assuming that each person received a double dose, it makes up 50.6% of the population. However, it is vital to note that the data suggests the number of vaccines administered and not the number of people that are vaccinated. Some reports claimed that the number of fully vaccinated individuals was somewhere near 102 million, which makes up about 46% of the population.

UNDP Praises Pakistan’s COVID Response Strategy

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report on 28th March 2022, listing Pakistan among the countries that fared well in the fight against the pandemic. The report noted that the cost of vaccinating 40% of the population was only 14% of the overall health expense as of 23rd March 2022. The UNDP considered this a “green zone of affordability”. It means that Pakistan’s health system can take some extra blows. However, it classified the risk index of COVID-19 as high at 5.3.

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