Government has decided to lift lockdown in 18 out of 24 districts with high risk of delta variant until Sept.30. File photo
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan has been recording a slow decline in its daily coronavirus numbers over the last two days, with 2,714 fresh cases reported on Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Centre's (NCOC) statistics showed.
Meanwhile, the federal government has decided to lift lockdown in 18 out of 24 districts with high risk of delta variant of COVID-19 until Sept.30.
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the lockdown would still continue in six districts — Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha, Gujrat and Bannu – till Sept.22.
The minister said that although the situation was comparatively better now, the danger had not subsided and stressed the need for accelerating the vaccination process in the country. He warned that the areas with low percentage of vaccination would again be put under lockdown.
"We want to completely lift all lockdowns as soon as possible so that the situation normalizes in the country," he added. He said the government was spending Rs200 billion on COVID vaccine and stressed that people should get vaccinated as soon as possible. He said that after September 30, unvaccinated people would not be allowed to travel or to enter the shopping malls.
According to the NCOC's latest stats, the positivity rate fell to 4.78 per cent. The last time the country's positivity rate was less than 5 per cent was on July 24.
The 2,714 new cases were detected after 56,733 coronavirus tests were taken in the last 24 hours. This pushes the total number of cases to 1,212,809.
There is a small downward trend in daily numbers, with active cases going under 80,000 for the first time since early August. The number of active cases currently are 77,532, the Geo TV reported.
In the last 24 hours, another 73 people have died of COVID-19, pushing the death toll to 26,938.
The total recoveries crossed the 1.1 million mark after 10,923 people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours. As of now, some 1,108,339 patients have recovered.
COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Pakistan, with 3,406 new infections reported on average each day. That's 58 per cent of the peak the highest daily average reported on June 17.
Pakistan has administered at least 68,227,337 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that's enough to have vaccinated about 15.8 per cent of the country's population.
During the last week reported, Pakistan averaged about 1,040,926 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 42 days to administer enough doses for another 10 per cent of the population.
The country of 1.3 billion people added a record-high of 261,500 new cases on Sunday, with one-in-six people who underwent tests returning positive coronavirus results, the ministry said.
Authorities have put virus hotspots under lockdown, arrested dozens of people for not wearing face masks, and sealed restaurants and shops for violating restrictions.
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“We are finalising arrangements with the UAE to include their nationals and residents in our plans to open up to the fully vaccinated from other countries from 4 October.”
The events reflect confidence in UAE's efforts and success to contain the global epidemic crisis after reaching a high social level that allowed it to start a safe return to life with stringent measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.