Daily coronavirus tally becomes highest in over a month

DRAP approves Sinopharm vaccine for people above 60 / 2 colleges sealed in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan recorded the highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in over a month during the last 24 hours, only days after it has relaxed a number of coronavirus restrictions.

The country recorded 1,579 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, said the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) on Friday. With the fresh inclusion of the infections, the national tally of cases has reached 587,014.

52 more coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 13,128. The total count of active cases is 17,117 and out of them, 1,551 patients were stated to be in critical condition.

In the past 24 hours, as many as 1,527 patients recovered from the virus, while so far 556,769 people have recovered.

A total of 37,998 tests were conducted across the country during the last 24 hours, while 9,135,393 samples have been tested so far.

Punjab provincial tally for coronavirus cases reached 175,051 after the province recorded 860 fresh cases of Covid-19 in a day. At least 30 more people also succumbed to the virus in the province, taking the death toll to 5,510. The province has so far recorded 163,752 recoveries.

The increase in the coronavirus cases comes after the NCOC on February 24 eased most of the restrictions, allowing commercial activities to resume with no time limits and offices and other workplaces to function at full strength, without the 50 per cent work-from-home condition.

The NCOC also allowed Pakistan Super League (PSL) pool matches with 50 per cent spectators. On Thursday, however, the tournament was postponed after a number of players tested positive for the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved the Sinopham coronavirus vaccine for people above 60 years of age.

According to the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), the Sinopharm vaccine was being administered to people up to the age of 60 years; however, it would now be used to inoculate citizens above 60 years of age too.

The body has approved China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine for inoculations to registered health workers over 60 years.

Meanwhile, the district health administration in the federal capital has sealed two colleges after 10 coronavirus cases were reported on Friday.

According to details, two boys colleges in Islamabad’s sectors I-10/1 and F-7/3 were sealed where 10 Covid-19 cases were detected.

According to a report forwarded to the deputy commissioner Islamabad by the district health officer (DHO), three coronavirus cases have been reported in Model College for Boys in Sector 10/1 while seven others were diagnosed in Model College For Boys, located in F-7/3. The DHO has directed the Islamabad administration to seal both colleges until further orders.

The virus cases have been rising in the educational institutions since they were reopened and resumed regular classes.

According to Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) District Health Officer Dr Muhammad Zaeem Zia, 231 patients have been tested positive against 5,766 tests run in the federal capital having positivity at 4.0 per cent in the last 24 hours. The number of patients reported in a day from the city is the highest in the last many months, he said.

Earlier, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood had announced that all schools would conduct regular five-day classes from March 1.

“Important announcement. All schools would go back to regular 5 day classes from Monday, March 1,” he tweeted. “Restrictions imposed in some major cities on schools to conduct staggered classes was only till Feb 28,” he tweeted.

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