Pakistan

Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan report high COVID-19 positivity levels

Over the last week, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan have reported the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the country.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, the test positive percentage in Gilgit Baltistan reached as high as 16.1% on September 24, but dropped to 5.3% on September 26. Similarly, Balochistan registered a spike of 11.9% in a single day on September 23, which fell to 7.8% on September 26.

A positivity rate is the percentage of coronavirus tests performed that return back positive. In May, the WHO recommended that the percent positive should remain below 5% for at least two weeks before governments can consider reopening.

As the number of infections flare up in Balochistan, test numbers have also gone up in the province reaching an all-time high on September 17, when it conducted 1,574 new tests in 24 hours. However, testing in Gilgit-Baltistan has stayed below 500 tests per day. It carried out its highest number of single-day tests in April, when it sampled over 2,000 tests for the virus.

Meanwhile, the positivity rate in the other provinces and federating units of the country have remained consistently below 5% this month, with the lowest recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – 0.6% on September 26, as per the WHO report.

Pakistan has a total caseload of 310,841 coronavirus cases to date, of which Balochistan has recorded 15,092 cases and 145 deaths, while Gilgit Baltistan has 3,681 cases and 87 deaths.

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