Pakistan records highest single day spike in COVID19 infections

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Pakistan registered its highest single day increase in the coronavirus cases with 1,297 new infections, taking the total number to 18,114, officials said on Saturday.

The death toll due to the viral infection jumped to 417 with 32 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of National Health Services said.

As many as 4,715 patients have been recovered, it said.

A record number of 1,297 new COVID-19 patients were added in a single day on Friday, the ministry said.

Officials, however, said the spike in the COVID-19 cases is not surprising as it is due to the increase in the coronavirus tests.

As many as 193,859 tests have been conducted so far, including 9,164 in the last 24 hours, they said.

Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza told reporters that Pakistan is increasing its testing capacity.  He said the coronavirus is still under control in the country and the death rate due to the disease is also lower.

“Pakistan’s death rate is still less than the projected numbers and secondly when we see the worldwide situation, it is far less than that. If you take care of yourself, it is guaranteed that you and your family will stay safe,” he said.

Of the total 18,114 cases, Punjab registered the highest number of 6,733, followed by Sindh at 6,675, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 2,799, Balochistan 1,136, Islamabad 365, Gilgit-Baltistan 340, the health ministry said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday launched the second phase of the cash programme for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Khan said he is personally monitoring the distribution of the corona relief fund to ensure transparency

“So far Rs 81 billion have been distributed to people…I am personally monitoring this process,” he said, launching the second phase of the Ehsaas cash scheme.

The first phase was launched last month. A fund of Rs 144 billion has been set aside for the scheme.

Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar told media that as part of the measures initiated for businesses facing the heat of the pandemic, the government will pay three-month electricity bills for firms whose consumption is between five and 70KW per month.