Islamabad [Pakistan], July 18 (ANI): Pakistan reported 492 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, bringing the tally of infected to 1,546,744, the country's ministry of health said on Monday.
As many as 30,445 people died from COVID-19 in Pakistan with five more deaths recorded on Sunday. Up to 20,361 tests for COVID-19 were conducted in the country while the positivity rate stood at 2.42 per cent.
A total of 169 active cases are in critical condition in Pakistan.
"COVID-19 Statistics 18 July 2022 Total Tests in Last 24 Hours: 20,361 Positive Cases: 492 Positivity per cent: 2.42 per cent Deaths: 05 Patients on Critical Care: 169," said National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan.
Covid variants remained an area of uncertainty, according to Dr Faheem Younus, the chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.
"We know that neutralizing antibody titers are lower in individuals, who get exposed to BA.4 and BA.5 variants. To me, the increasing immune evasion appears to be one of the greatest threats these variants pose," he told The Express Tribune in an interview.
Dr Younus believes that "the best strategy" to prevent future waves is to maximize vaccinations - including boosters - and not focus so much on restrictions and lockdowns.
"Future spikes in cases are likely, but the severity of those waves will depend on the vaccination, immune status of the host, and the virulence of the variant," he added.
On Pakistan's Covid-19 cases, Dr Yunus said that the south Asian country was now at 57 per cent fully vaccinated, which amounted to almost 126 million people, a feat that was "commendable". (ANI)