Pakistan reports fewest virus deaths since March - GulfToday

Pakistan reports fewest virus deaths since March


A health worker takes blood sample from a child in Karachi. File

Pakistani authorities on Sunday reported only four new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, the country’s fewest number of fatalities since March.

The announcement raises hopes that Pakistan is on the right path to fully containing the coronavirus despite having a fragile health system.

The National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) also reported 591 new cases, increasing the country’s caseload to 275,836, including 6,275 deaths.

Pakistan witnessed a sudden spike in infections and deaths in June, but confirmed cases and fatalities have gradually declined since then. The latest development comes days after Pakistan’s drug regulatory agency approved final-phase testing of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine.

Pakistan hopes it will get the vaccine on priority from neighboring China if its clinical trials show success.

According to data from the government body, the total number of active cases in Pakistan are 10,964 as of Aug.23, 2020. As many as 591 people tested positive for coronavirus on Aug.22 out of a total number of 24,956 who were tested for it.

The total number of people who have recovered from the virus and tested negative for it amounted to 275,836.

The NCOC stated that there were no patients on ventilators in Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Out of 1,920 ventilators in the country, 121 are occupied.

Among the four who passed away from the virus, three died in hospitals while one died out of hospital. The total death toll stands at 6,235.

121 vents occupied across Pakistan out of 1920 vents allocated for COVID-19.

"A total of 292,765 cases detected so far (AJK 2245, Balochistan 12507, GB 2657, ICT 15493, KP 35720, Punjab 96178, Sindh 127965),” stated the NCOC.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, earlier this month, warned the nation not to fall back into old habits after COVID-19 restrictions were eased in almost all sectors a day earlier and keep in mind that the coronavirus is still very much a threat.

The federal minister had said that he heard people saying the COVID-19 pandemic had been eliminated.

"Ever since this announcement [lifting lockdown restrictions] was made, I have been hearing from people that coronavirus has ended. I wish coronavirus would have been eliminated.

"However, unfortunately, the situation is not like that at the moment. We can’t say at this moment that coronavirus has been eliminated,” the minister had said.

Speaking of a decline in cases, Umar had credited the people of Pakistan, saying that they were the "real heroes” with whose cooperation the government had managed to bring about a drastic reduction in the infection.

"Whatever steps were taken by the state and the government could not have been effective if the public had not cooperated with us,” he said. "A large part of the society helped the government.

I would like to thank the media as well for sending our message to the public on what to do [to ward off the coronavirus],” he added.

The minister had said that the government and the people had taken the right decisions and actions when it came to tackling the pandemic. He praised the smart lockdown initiative, stating that developed countries could also not shut down the economy for a longer period of time.


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