ISLAMABAD: Coronavirus cases in Pakistan surged by at least 3,119 in the past 24 hours, the third consecutive daily rise of over 3,000 infections, according to data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre on Saturday.
Pakistan’s cases have risen by over 3,000 for three out of the last five days, bringing the total COVID-19 tally to 413,191. In the past 24 hours, Sindh recorded the highest number of cases at 1,664 while 540 new infections were reported in Punjab, 419 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 353 in Islamabad, 68 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 59 in Balochistan, and 16 in Gilgit Baltistan.
The number of active cases has climbed to 52,359 with 2,441 patients in critical care. The NCOC data showed 352, 529 people have recovered from COVID-19 across the country so far.
At least 44 people succumbed to the virus on Friday, raising the total death toll to 8,303. Punjab witnessed the most deaths as the virus claimed 22 lives across the province. At least 10 people died of coronavirus in KP while Sindh’s death toll rose by eight, Islamabad’s by two, and one patient passed away in AJK. GB and Balochistan reported no COVID-19 deaths.
Abbottabad reported a coronavirus case positivity rate of 17.57% on Friday and along with Rawalpindi’s 15.26%, and Karachi’s 14.31% is among the cities with the most prevalent outbreak. A case positivity rate of 12.13% was observed in Hyderabad, 10.63% in Peshawar, and 10.61% in Muzaffarabad. At 0.44%, Gwadar has the lowest positivity rate followed by Multan at 2.06%.
Province-wise, the outbreak appears to be most prevalent in AJK with an 11.24% positivity rate, followed by Sindh at 10.74%, Balochistan at 10.46%, KP at 9.68%, Islamabad at 5.27%, Punjab at 4.15%, and GB at 3.92%.
The country’s positivity rate stands at 7.59%.
With the COVID-19 pandemic progressively getting worse in Pakistan, the government has placed fresh restrictions across the country to prevent the spread of the virus during its second wave.
Following recommendations by the NCOC, the federal government has made face masks mandatory in public spaces, limited large public gatherings to 300, banned indoor weddings, closed shrines, cinemas, and theatres, and instructed public and private offices to adopt work-from-home policy and 50% occupancy.
The federal government also announced that educational institutes will remain closed from November 26 to January 10. The students will study at home or get weekly homework till December 24 and winter vacations will start December 25. The schools will reopen on January 11 – which is subject to coronavirus situation then. All examinations have been postponed except admission and recruitment tests.
Furthermore, all provinces have banned indoor dining and limited timings for markets, shops, and shopping malls. Many areas in the country have been placed under smart lockdowns.