Pakistan’s coronavirus death toll exceeds 8,600


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s official death toll from the novel coronavirus infections climbed to 8,603 with the virus claiming 56 lives in the past 24 hours, data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) showed on Thursday.

The country’s mortality rate remains steady at 2.0% against the global mortality rate of 2.27%. With 87% of the COVID-19 patients beating the virus, Pakistan also has one of the highest recovery rates in the world.

The number of infections across the country rose to 429,280 as 3,138 PCR tests detected SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

The single-day case positivity rate stands at 7.81% while the historical rate is 7.26%. A quick look at the testing figures tells that only 2.6% of the population has been tested for the disease so far. There are at least 46,376 active cases in the country with 2,575 patients under critical care – conditions of 77 deteriorated in the past 24 hours.

Majority of the COVID-19 patients on ventilators are in Multan, Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore. While occupancy of oxygen beds is highest in Islamabad at 61% followed by Rawalpindi at 55%, Peshawar at 51% and Multan at 48%.

Bids to contain virus

With the rising spread of the virus, the federal government on December 9 warned it would shut down more sectors if the public continued to violate coronavirus SOPs. 

Federal Minister for Planning and Development and NCOC chief Asad Umar said there was a rapid increase in infections during the second wave as the public was less serious than it was during the first wave. 

He warned that if the virus is not contained, the government may decide to close down more sector and impose stricter restrictions in two weeks time.

The federal government has already 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 has 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.

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