PoK polls acted as ‘super spreader event’, says top official as Pakistan struggles to contain Covid – News Vibe24

    PoK polls acted as 'super spreader event', says top official as Pakistan struggles to contain Covid - Times of India
    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s anti-coronation chief said on Thursday that the recent assembly elections in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) acted as an “excessive dispersal” for the pandemic as the country struggled to contain -19.
    Pakistan recorded 102 deaths from Covid in the last 24 hours, the highest since May 20, bringing the death toll nationwide to 24,187, while the number of confirmed cases reached 1,085,294 with 4,934 new infections recorded in one night, announced the Ministry of Health.
    Planning Minister Asad Umar, who also heads the National Center for Administration and Business (NCOC), blamed the July 25 election on PoK for increasing the spread of the virus.
    The NCOC is the main governing body for the policies and implementation of the Covid-19 national effort in Pakistan.
    Omar tweeted that he had recommended that the PoK election be “postponed for two months and that a special vaccination campaign be conducted before the election.” However, “it was not agreed”.
    “The election (at Pok) was a super fun event,” he said.
    India has rejected elections in Poland won by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, saying the “cosmetic exercise” was just an attempt by Pakistan to “camouflage its illegal occupation” and that it has filed a strong protest on the issue.
    From the election, Omar said, PoK’s positivity was between 25 and 30 percent.
    According to the Ministry of Health, the current positivity rate of Pakistan is 8.31%, the highest in the fourth wave that hit the country last month.
    The virus is spreading rapidly despite the increase in vaccination, the ministry said.
    More than 40.6 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 11.4 million have been fully vaccinated, he said.
    In the run-up to the election, the NCOC had written a letter to the chief election commissioner of PoK, stating that due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, the ballots should be delayed as they could lead to large political rallies for further spread of the virus in the state.
    However, the proposal was not accepted, and both major opposition parties in the center – the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – opposed the idea of ​​postponing the elections, saying that the Constitution had no such provision, the Dawn newspaper reported.

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