Karachi’s coronavirus positivity rate gets worse as restrictions return

  • Sindh government’s ban on indoor gatherings in Karachi and Hyderabad due to incessant rise in COVID-19 cases comes into effect.
  • Karachi reports 3,149 new COVID-19 infections overnight
  • New cases place Karachi’s positivity rate at 45.43%, again a new high since the pandemic hit.

KARACHI: The coronavirus situation in Pakistan’s biggest city continues to get worse with every passing day as Karachi’s positivity rate inches towards 50%, with the country battling against the Omicron variant.

The health department data suggested that 3,149 new COVID-19 infections were detected overnight after 6,760 diagnostic tests, which placed Karachi’s positivity rate at 45.43% –  a new high since the pandemic hit.

Indoor gatherings banned in Karachi and Hyderabad

Meanwhile, as Karachi’s positivity rate shot up by almost 5% in a single day and Hyderabad’s stands at 8.67%, the Sindh government’s ban on indoor dining in the two cities went into effect today.

The positivity rate in Karachi stood at 41% on Thursday.

An amended notification issued by Home Department stated that all indoor gatherings, events and dining has been restricted in Karachi and Hyderabad till February 15.

However, outdoor events are allowed with a maximum of 300 fully vaccinated guests

Moreover, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also imposed new restrictions in the province due to the fifth wave. Under the restrictions, indoor dining, wedding events and other gatherings have been prohibited from January 24 to February 15.

Apart from Karachi and Hyderabad, there are several other cities of Pakistan that have soaring positivity rates.

Following are the major cities of Pakistan having positivity higher than 10%:

With the highest positivity ratio, Karachi has been identified as a COVID-19 hotspot. The second most affected city is Muzaffarabad which has 23.94% coronavirus positivity.

  • Islamabad — 18.91%
  • Lahore — 17.89%
  • Rawalpindi — 17.47%
  • Peshawar — 15.59%

Restrictions for cities, districts with positivity above 10%


Indoor gatherings of all types, including weddings, will be banned from January 24.

Outdoor gatherings, including weddings, will be allowed with a cap of fully vaccinated 300 guests — applicable from Jan 24.


There will be a complete ban on indoor dining. However, outdoor dining for fully vaccinated citizens and takeaway service will be allowed.


Indoor Gyms at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed.


Cinemas will be allowed to open at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only.


Shrines are allowed to open at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only.

Amusement Parks

Allowed to open at 50% capacity for fully vaccinated people only.


There would be a complete ban on contact sports like karate, boxing, martial arts, water polo, kabaddi and wrestling.

Education sector

Schools will be allowed to open with 50% attendance (staggered days) for students below the age of 12 years. For students (fully vaccinated) over 12 years, the NCOC has recommended 100% attendance.

‘Karachi expected to report 50% positivity ratio’

Last week, the federal health department officials predicted a change in Karachi’s situation as the positivity ratio might hit 50%, leading to an increase in hospitalisations.

The officials also said that daily cases were expected to shoot up to 6,000.