Declining Covid kills two more Pakistanis
NIH data shows stability in daily number of tests, positivity ratio: New Zealand keeps seven-day mandatory Covid isolation rule
April 12, 2023 10:28 AM
The receding Covid-19 pandemic claimed two more lives in Pakistan as the country took in another 40 coronavirus patients during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), showed the data released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) on Wednesday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to the NIH data, the death toll in the country went up to 30,654 after adding the two latest fatalities whereas the number of total infections now soared to 1,580,229 after adding the fresh 40 cases.
During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 3,881 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 1.03%. The number of patients in critical care stood at 18.
New Zealand keeps 7-day mandatory isolation rule
The government in New Zealand has decided to keep the current seven days of mandatory Covid-19 isolation, as well as masking in healthcare settings.
The decision was reached after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he expects to reach a period where no mandatory isolation period is needed, but that time is not now.
Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall also gave a statement. “We know isolation for COVID-19 cases is the best way to break the chain of transmission to make sure people aren’t passing on the virus and getting other people sick,” Verrall said.
“Isolation remains effective in managing spread and keeping case numbers down, and it also helps reduce pressure on our hospital services.
“But we need to make sure our settings are right, and look at examples of what is working around the world. A test to return to work rule for lower risk or mild or asymptomatic cases could help reduce the strain on some workforces this winter.
“Cabinet will consider advice on this within the next two months.
“Wearing face masks in healthcare settings remain an important tool to reduce your own risk and also the risk for others, especially those more vulnerable or susceptible to the virus. These settings will remain for now.
“I also urge those eligible for the new Covid-19 bivalent vaccine to get themselves vaccinated, and boosted when eligible,”
Hipkins told Breakfast that ministers would consider case numbers, impacts on the health system, and disruption to people's ability to participate in the economy when making decisions on Covid-19 settings.
Daily Covid figures have shown a relatively stable trend of new cases being reported to authorities over the past few weeks.
Prior to the announcement, public health experts have been reluctant to see a significant loosening of isolation requirements for people who test positive for Covid-19.
Epidemiologist Michael Baker told 1News that keeping the legal requirement to isolate added "considerable weight" to people's judgment calls about whether to stay at home.
"When you have those symptoms, you should stay at home, and I think that's one of the big lessons from the pandemic," he said.
"It does add considerable weight to know that this is an expectation. In many ways, it's just how we treat the roads. To make roads safe, we have laws and regulations and that way, we can share roads in relative safety."
Speaking to Stuff, Covid-19 spread modeller Michael Plank said that an easing of the seven-day isolation rule was "probably going to happen sooner or later".
Meanwhile, Auckland University microbiologist Siousixe Wiles told RNZ she supported a shift to a "test-to-release" policy whereby people could leave isolation after five days if they had a negative test result.
It comes as the Government slowly eases back the resources it dedicates to the pandemic response, with the removal of the Covid-19 Response ministerial portfolio and a reduction in funding that GPs get for virus-related care.–1news.co.nz