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National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar said on Friday that there were clear signs of a fourth wave of Covid-19 starting in the country, primarily due to poor compliance to SOPs and arrival of the Indian variant.

"2 weeks back I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing possible emergence of 4th wave. Now there are clear early signs of 4th wave starting," said Umar on Twitter.

"Poor SOP compliance, coupled with spread of variants of concern, Indian variant in particular, are the main cause," he added.

He further stated that reports showed a complete disregard for vaccinations by those attending indoor weddings and going to indoor restaurants and gyms.

The NCOC chief warned that, "If the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility & ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down."

On June 25, Asad Umar said that a fourth wave of Covid-19 could possibly occur in July if precautionary SOPs were not adhered to.

"Reviewed the artificial intelligence-based disease modeling analysis today in the NCOC," Umar said in a tweet.

"In the absence of strong SOP enforcement and continued strong vaccination program, the 4th wave could emerge in Pakistan in July. Please adhere to SOPs and vaccinate as soon as possible," he stressed.

A day ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the nation that a fourth wave of the novel coronavirus could hit the country if people continued to flout the Covid-induced standard operating procedures (SOPs), urging the masses to follow precautionary measures to avoid lockdowns.

In a brief address to the nation, the premier said that the Delta variant of the virus had become a major cause of concern in the world, which originated in India and had spread to Bangladesh, Indonesia and Afghanistan, causing oxygen shortages there.

“After a decline, [coronavirus] cases are rising again and we are concerned that Indian variant cases are being reported in Pakistan as well,” Imran said. “We can avoid the fourth wave of coronavirus if we comply with Covid-19 SOPs particularly mask-wearing in closed and crowded spaces,” he added.

The premier also stressed that the people, particularly those living in cities, should get themselves vaccinated as early as possible. “Ample doses of the vaccine are available and more will be coming,” he added.

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