The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Monday was apprised that Covid-19 positivity ratio is rapidly increasing nationwide, with15 major cities having higher positivity ratio. The NCOC meeting discussed in length recent surge in Covid-19 positivity ratio and recent enforcement measures post National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting. The chief secretaries of provinces updated the forum on administrative measures implemented as per the fresh guidelines issued by the NCOC in higher positivity ratio cities in their respective provinces. The chief secretaries briefed the forum on their initiatives particularly administrative measures and enforcement efforts regarding face mask wearing and arrangements for outdoor weddings’ modalities to ensure compliance of fresh health guidelines. The forum noticed that positivity ratio in major cities was increasing rapidly as Hyderabad was having highest positivity ratio in Pakistan with 16.59 percent positivity ratio, Gilgit 15.38 percent, Multan 15.97 percent, Muzafarabad 14.12 percent, Mirpur 11.11 percent, Peshawar 9.69 percent, Quetta 8.03 percent, Islamabad 7.48 percent, Karachi 7.12 percent, Lahore 5.37 percent and Rawalpindi 4.63 percent. The forum was informed that 4,136 micro smart lockdowns were in place across Pakistan. The test, trace and quarantine (TTQ) strategy was being used for disease control and prevention of Covid-19 spread, the forum was told, and that recent health guidelines would remain enforced in 16 major cities till 31 Jan 2021. Around 2,811 oxygenated beds were included to the existing number of the beds to ramp up hospitals’ capacity, along with this, over 13,000 oxygen cylinders were issued to various provinces and federating units. The NCOC appreciated efforts of provinces for taking prompt and necessary measures in line of health guidelines for public safety and wellbeing. The total active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan on Monday were recorded 18,981 as 1,650 more people tested positive for the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. Nine corona patients, eight of whom were under treatment in hospital and one out of hospital died on Sunday, according to the latest update issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). No COVID-19 affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan, while 155 ventilators were occupied elsewhere in Pakistan, out of 1,856 allocated for COVID-19 patients. Some 33,340 tests were conducted across the country on Sunday, including 14,343 in Sindh, 9,406 in Punjab, 4,052 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 4,065 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 634 in Balochistan, 379 in GB, and 461 in AJK. Around 318,881 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients. Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 344,839 cases were detected so far, including AJK 4,758, Balochistan 16,106, GB 4,366, ICT 21,861, KP 40,657, Punjab 106,922 and Sindh 150,169. About 6,977 deaths were recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion, including 2,684 Sindh among four of them died in hospital and one out of hospital on Sunday, 2,408 in Punjab one of them died in hospital on Sunday, 1,288 in KP, 241 in ICT among three of them died in hospital on Sunday, 154 in Balochistan, 93 in GB and 109 in AJK. A total of 4,709,603 corona tests have been conducted so far, while 736 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. Some 1,107 corona patients were admitted in hospitals across the country. PML-N Youth Wing President Captain (r) Safdar and PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira have tested positive for the coronavirus while campaigning for their parties in Gilgit-Baltistan, it emerged on Monday. PML-N Youth Wing spokesman Ali Khan Yusufzai said Safdar had complained of flu and fever while campaigning in Skardu. He returned to Islamabad with his wife, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, on Saturday after which he was tested for the virus. Thereafter, Safdar flew to Lahore on Sunday night and was admitted to the Sharif Medical City Hospital on the advice of doctors, Yusufzai said, adding that Safdar’s condition is satisfactory. Meanwhile, PPP leader and former information minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, also tested positive for coronavirus, Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah confirmed in a tweet. Shah said Kaira, who has been campaigning with party chairman Bilawal Zardari-Bhutto in Gilgit-Baltistan for over two weeks, is a great “asset of the party” and prayed for his health. Kaira has also returned from GB and is under quarantine. For the last two weeks, political leaders from the country’s major parties have been campaigning in GB where legislative assembly elections will be held on Nov 15.