The numbers: As of Thursday afternoon, the total number of covid-19 cases in Pakistan has risen to 325,480. The virus accounts for 6,702 deaths overall, 10 of which have been reported in the past 24 hours. 309,136 patients have successfully recovered from the disease. Amidst rising fears over a second wave of the virus, 736 cases have been reported in Pakistan over the last 24 hours. Overall, Sindh has reported 142,641 cases, Punjab 102,107, whereas 38,810 infections have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 15,738 in Balochistan. The tally for Islamabad Capital Territory stands at 18,438, whereas Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir have reported 4,107 and 3,639 cases respectively.
Rising cases: A resurgence has been observed in the number of coronavirus cases as well as deaths in Pakistan. Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that the covid-19 mortality rate in Pakistan has increased by 140% in the last week. He warned that the virus will keep spreading further unless the people comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said that the population of Pakistan is collectively making a mistake by ignoring preventative measures, which is why the virus is spreading and claiming more lives. He also informed that the positivity rate is extremely high in Muzaffarabad, high in Karachi, and rising in Lahore and Islamabad.
Lockdowns: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid-19 has warned citizens that if they continue to ignore the SOPs issued by the government, restrictive measures including a possible lockdown will have to be implemented. The closure of resources will also negatively affect people’s livelihoods and the economy so it must be avoided at all costs. This warning came after a sudden spike was observed in the covid-19 cases across the country. A statement issued by the NCOC also noted that if SOP compliance across various sectors in the country was not improved, the government would implement a strict lockdown and shut down services. High-risk sectors such as transport, markets, wedding halls, restaurants, and other public gatherings would be closely observed by the authorities, and the wearing of masks and social distancing protocols would be ensured.