Pakistan records highest daily COVID-19 deaths
By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD (AA): Pakistan on Wednesday registered 201 deaths from the coronavirus, the highest single-day fatalities since the start of the pandemic last year, said the Health Ministry.
The nationwide count raised to 17,530 with the fresh fatalities. Only in April, the South Asian country recorded over 3,100 deaths from COVID-19.
This is the first time that coronavirus deaths in the country have crossed the 200 mark since the pandemic hit the South Asian country in March 2020.
Most deaths have been reported from the northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, as the government on Friday approved the deployment of army troops nationwide to reinforce measures against coronavirus.
Around 5,292 infections were reported in the last 24 hours, pushing the total caseload to beyond 810,231. The country’s positivity rate has risen to 10.77%, as the current number of active cases also raised to 88,207, whereas some 704,494 patients have so far recovered. Only in April, Pakistan recorded 137,000 cases.
On Tuesday, Pakistan had announced fresh restrictions across the country, including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport, in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases during the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday.
According the Interior Ministry, fresh restrictions also include closure of all tourist resorts, hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, parks, beaches, and other public places from May 8 to 16.
The government and health officials have warned that if the ongoing pace of infections continues in coming days, the country may face a situation similar to India, where the surging pandemic has battered the already weak health system of the world’s second-most populated country.
According to the Health Ministry, in several district hospitals, over 90% of ventilators and oxygen beds are already occupied, raising new fears about the country’s poor health system.
Islamabad is set to receive millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses from different countries in the coming weeks to speed up its slow immunization campaign. So far, out of a total population of 210 million, around two million people, including health professionals and people aged above 50, have been vaccinated.
[Photos: Muslims wait to receive iftar meal on the first day of the Ramadan amid coronavirus (Covid-19) measures on April 14, 2021 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Mass iftars on the streets and mosques are banned in the country this year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Photographer: Muhammed Semih Uğurlu/AA]