Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Pakistan reports nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases

65 more deaths reported due to novel virus

Aamir Latif   | 31.07.2021
Pakistan reports nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases

KARACHI, Pakistan 

The fourth wave of coronavirus continues to strike Pakistan as the country recorded nearly 5,000 new infections, the highest single-day tally in the past two months, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The South Asian country saw over 4,000 daily cases in the fourth day in a row, with 4,950 fresh infections on Saturday -- the highest since April 30.

With the new additions, the country's overall case count surpassed 1 million.

Some 65 more people lost their lives due to the disease, bringing the death toll to 23,360.

At least 940,264 people have so far recovered from COVID-19 in Pakistan, the data also showed, with the total number of active cases standing at 66,287.


Lockdown

The southern Sindh province is the epicenter of the fourth wave driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, forcing the government to impose a week-long partial lockdown to be effective from Saturday to Aug. 8.

The restrictions include closure of schools, markets, restaurants, and government offices, along with ban on inter-city transport and "unnecessary" movement of citizens after 6 p.m (local time).

The focus of the fresh restrictions will be Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub, where a majority of cases have been reported over the past two weeks.

According to media reports, the positivity rate in Karachi was over 22% on Saturday and 26.32% -- the highest on record yet -- a day earlier.

The situation, though, has deteriorated in recent weeks, despite an expedited nationwide vaccination drive.

Nearly 28 million vaccine doses have been administered in Pakistan to date, and those at the age of 18 or over are eligible for vaccination.

However, only around 6 million people are fully vaccinated in the country of over 200 million.

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