Photo used for illustrative purpose.
At least 708 cases in the past 24 hours pushed the positivity ratio to 1.55%, the highest since Oct.24, according to data from the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), which is overseeing the pandemic response.
"There is clear evidence now of a beginning of another COVID wave which has been expected for the last few weeks,” Asad Umar, the minister in charge of supervising anti-COVID-19 operations, said on Twitter.
Genome sequencing had detected a growing number of cases of the Omicron variant, particularly in the largest city of Karachi, he said.
About 70 million people in Pakistan, or 32% of the population, have had two vaccine doses.
The government authorised booster doses for citizens over the age of 30 from Monday. Children over the age of 12 are being offered vaccinations at their schools.
The first case of the Omicron variant was reported on Dec.13 in Karachi and a total of 75 cases were confirmed up to Dec.27, according to National Institute of Health (NIH).
Twelve of the cases were linked to international travel, it said.
The provincial government of Sindh, of which Karachi is capital, is working on a strategy to contain the variant, which has included a partial lockdown of a Karachi
neighbourhood last week after about a dozen Omicron cases were detected in a family.
Meanwhile, after the UK variant made inroads into various cities of the country, Pakistan has reported its first confirmed patient carrying the Indian strain.
Satisfied with the overall situation, the NCOC announced to lift various COVID-19 restrictions from July 1 owing to the downward trend in infections across the country. Cinemas to operate till 1am, with entry for vaccinated persons only.
Asad Umar announced on Tuesday that the NCOC has decided to start inoculating children who are 12 years and older against the coronavirus in a bid to build herd immunity against COVID-19.
Umar said that although the situation was comparatively better now, the danger had not subsided and stressed the need for accelerating the vaccination process in the country. He warned that the areas with low percentage of vaccination would again be put under lockdown.
The state-owned Tehran Times posted a photograph of Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, in a hotel lobby with Iranian Ambassador to Qatar Hamidreza Dehghani.
"Every day, women lead and make vital contributions to diplomatic efforts across the globe," said Lana Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Political Affairs and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN.
Rosemary DiCarlo told the UN Security Council that during talks in Cairo from June 12-20 the rivals reached "a broad consensus on most of the contentious articles” in the proposed 2017 constitution, which she called "commendable.”
Two of those killed were on the train and one was in the truck, Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Cpl. Justin Dunn said. Officials were still trying to determine the exact number of people aboard. Seven cars derailed, the patrol said.