ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Chief and Planning Minister Asad Umar on Sunday said that there are clear evidences that a fifth wave of COVID-19 has started in the country. The minister took to his official twitter and stated that “Clear evidence now of a beginning of another covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks.” Clear evidence now of a beginning of another covid wave which has been expected for last few weeks. Genome sequencing showing rising proportion of omicron cases particularly in karachi. Remember : wearing a mask is your best protection — Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) January 2, 2022 He advised the public to wear masks and adhere to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). Genome sequencing showed a rising proportion of the Omicron variant of coronavirus cases in the country in general and in Karachi, in particular, said the minister. “Wearing a mask is your best protection,” Asad Umar advised. Omicron cases are rising in the country, especially in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. According to government’s statistics, Islamabad has reported 64 confirmed cases of Omicron so far, while 49 cases of the strain have been detected in Lahore. Earlier, a smart lockdown had been imposed in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block 7 after 12 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus were reported from the area. As per notification issued on Friday, the micro-smart lockdown had been enforced on the streets and houses of the specified area by Deputy Commissioner District East on the recommendation of the concerned health officer. Additionally, all types of gatherings or events had been banned in the area amidst fear of a COVID-19 spread. As per the notification, strict compliance of COVID-19 SOPs, including wearing masks when entering or exiting the area and restricted movement of people residing in the area would be ensured.