–78 people die of Covid-19, 4,551 new cases emerge in 24 hours
–Minister says cases could be less than 0.4m by end July if SOPs are followed
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday said that while the country’s overall coronavirus situation was getting better, there was a significant lack of improvement in Sindh, particularly in the provincial capital Karachi.
Pakistan on Friday confirmed 78 deaths in a single day by coronavirus as the number of positive cases surged to 221,896, while the he nationwide tally of fatalities jumped to 4,551.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 4,087 persons tested positive for Covid-19 in 24 hours.
Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.
Till now 89,225 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 78,956 in Punjab, 27,170 in KP, 10,666 in Balochistan, 13,195 in Islamabad, 1,524 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 1,160 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Furthermore, 1,819 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 1,437 in Sindh, 983 in KP, 122 in Balochistan, 129 in Islamabad, 28 in GB and 33 in AJK.
Patients are under treatment at quarantine centers of 462 hospitals where 7,295 beds are available.
Pakistan has so far conducted 1,350,773 coronavirus tests and 22,941 in last 24 hours. 113,623 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 2,479 patients are in critical condition.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said that the number of deaths, patients admitted to hospitals and patients on ventilators had gone down.
Crediting this development to citizens following precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus, Umar said if this continues, the country’s situation will continue to improve.
“However, there is only one area where we are not seeing that much improvement, which is in Sindh, especially Karachi,” he said.
He maintained that to address this, the NCOC team held a meeting with the provincial chief secretary and the provincial health minister and was working on a way to replicate the results from the rest of the country in Sindh.
He also urged citizens to remain mindful of the fact that an improvement was only being seen because they were following precautionary measures.
“Do not take this to mean that the pandemic is going away on its own and you can do whatever you want,” he cautioned, adding that a lapse in following preventive measures could cause the number of cases to rise again.
“I had earlier warned that our cases could reach 1.2 million by July end if we do not take action or follow preventive measures. But because people are following precautionary measures and the administration is also taking action […] this number may be less than 400,000,” he further said.
He concluded his press conference by urging the public to follow doctors’ advice with seriousness.