Pakistan reported over 1,500 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time since October 3 as it battles the fifth wave of the pandemic, data from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) showed Sunday morning. As per the latest statistics of the NCOC, 1,572 people tested positive after 49,658 tests were taken across the county in the 24 hours. This brings the positivity rate to 3.16%. A day earlier, the Sindh government had warned of resorting to ‘stringent measures’ if people continued to defy standard operating procedures (SOPs) in Karachi where the positivity rate of Covid-19 is continuously on the rise due to the spread of the Omicron variant. “Positivity of Covid-19 cases is alarmingly on the rise in Karachi where it touched 11.72%. Fortunately, hospitalisation is not rising and currently only 18 patients are in the ICUs and HDUs,” MPA Qasim sad. He warned that if people continued to defy the SOPs and the burden on hospitals starts to rise, no other option would be left except to take “stringent measures”.