A third wave of COVID-19 continues to take its toll on Pakistan with 135 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day fatalities since June 2020.
Most deaths have been reported from the northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa provinces, where administrations are struggling to enforce safety protocols.
With fresh casualties, the country's overall toll reached 15,754 since March 2020.
Some 4,681 new infections were reported on Wednesday, bringing the caseload to 734,423.
The current number of active cases across the country is 76,757, whereas 641,912 patients have so far recovered.
The government and health officials warn that if the ongoing pace of infections continues for another two weeks, the situation may go "worse," as the country's already weak health system is saturating.
In several district hospitals, over 90% of ventilators and oxygen beds are already occupied, according to the ministry.
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 210 million population, slightly over 1.3 million people, including health professionals and people above 50 years old, have been inoculated.
Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of the vaccine from Germany under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility by May, apart from procuring 7 million doses from China.
Beijing has provided over 1 million doses to Islamabad as a "gift," and promised to provide another batch of 500,000 doses by the end of April.
Islamabad is currently using China's Sinopharm and CanSino vaccines in government hospitals.
Private hospitals in major cities have also started inoculation with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine imported by a pharmaceutical company.
The South Asian country has also approved the emergency use of the UK’s AstraZeneca and China’s CoronaVac vaccines. Both vaccines, however, have yet to be administered.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.