The numbers: As of Thursday afternoon, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan is 303,634. Over the past 24 hours, 545 cases have been registered. In total, there have been 6,399 deaths due to the virus, and 291,169 patients have recovered. Sindh has reported a total of 132,818 cases, while Punjab has 98,041. The tally has reached 37,185 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 13,798 in Balochistan, and 16,005 in the Islamabad Capital Territory. Meanwhile, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir have 3,336 and 2,451 cases respectively.
On the road to recovery: The number of covid-19 cases in Pakistan has significantly decreased and the country is on the road to recovery from the consequences of the pandemic, according to the National Command and Operation center (NCOC). A report showed that almost 96% of patients who had been infected with the virus have recovered. A total of 3,024,987 tests have been conducted across the country while 737 hospitals are fully equipped to treat covid-19 patients.
Educational institutions reopen: Following federal orders to gradually open educational institutions, many universities and schools reopened in the country. Students of senior classes went back to school this week while those in middle school will return next week and primary schools will open the week after. The schools are opening six months after the global pandemic induced countrywide lockdowns and effectively canceled exams and other academic activities. All schools and educational institutions have been warned that non-compliance with standard operating procedures such as social distancing and wearing masks can result in the immediate closure of the institution. A medical college in Islamabad was recently closed after 16 coronavirus cases were reported among students and staff. All exposed students and staff will be tested.
Developing a vaccine: Various vaccines for the novel coronavirus are in the process of being developed. In China, four vaccines have reached the final stage of clinical trials. Three of these vaccines have already been offered to frontline workers in China. According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vaccine may be made available for the general public as early as November or December. Health and Population Think Tank (HPTT), organized a meeting in Pakistan in collaboration with the Health Services Academy, and the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination. The consultative meeting discussed the issue of developing a covid-19 vaccine and administering it to an entire population. It was attended by several stakeholders, including representatives of concerned national and provincial ministries.