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.
Senior health official Vinod Kumar Paul told a news briefing that government experts were studying data on boosters but "our emphatic view...is to (first) cover every adult with (just) the primary two doses." The government has said this target can be achieved by January.
Pakistan has disbanded the National Command and Operations Centre, which was overseeing the COVID-19 response in the country, as the infection’s numbers were at the lowest since the start of the outbreak early in 2020, the prime minister said.
"87% of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 70% has been completely vaccinated,” Minister Asad Umar said, adding that vaccinations were behind the reduction in the spread of the virus.
ADP also warned against the renewed methods of scammers and fraudsters to lure victims after obtaining information related to their bank accounts and reusing that data again, to withdraw funds from their bank accounts.
Voting continued on the legislation, which must also be approved by the Democratic-majority Senate before President Joe Biden can sign the measure into law.
The general command of the armed forces said in a statement it suspended talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, accusing the other side of a lack of commitment in implementing any terms of the agreement and a continuous violation of the ceasefire.