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Pakistan’s coronavirus situation continues to deteriorate

ISLAMABAD: The country’s coronavirus continues to deteriorate as the number of active virus cases surged past 16,000 on Friday.

A total of 1,376 people tested positive for COVID-19 across Pakistan on November 5, bringing the number of active coronavirus cases to 16,242 — the highest since August.

Another 30 people succumbed to the disease on the day, bringing the total death toll to 6,923. The last time the daily death toll had crossed the 30 mark was late July.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 340,251, with 317,086 people have recovered from the virus.

‘Pakistan can not afford lockdown’

The federal and provincial governments have issued multiple warnings over the past few days, urging the public to follow COVID-19 SOPs, but so far held off on any new lockdown measures to contain the virus.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the country could not afford another national lockdown and instead urged the masses to strictly follow preventive measures against the novel coronavirus.

In a press briefing after a meeting of the federal cabinet, PM Imran Khan said the provincial governments needed to ensure the implementation of Trace, Test & Quarantine (TTQ) measures and smart lockdown strategies pertaining to the coronavirus.

Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar — who also heads the National Command and Operations Center — and the premier’s aide on health, Dr Faisal Sultan, informed the Cabinet that the number of coronavirus patients, as well as virus-related deaths, was increasing,

Adherence to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) needs to be ensured, Umar and Sultan said.

NCOC seeks public help

Last week, the NCOC had tightened restrictions on high-risk public activities and made face masks mandatory in public spaces. The authorities also reduced timings for restaurants and weddings to 10:00pm.

In a bid to discourage violation of social distancing and other SOPs, the NCOC had sought the people’s help in avoiding a second wave of infections.

“With the arrival of second-wave and continued wide-scale violation of the SOPs, the NCOC has decided to seek citizens help for SOP compliance,” tweeted Umar.

He asked people to take pictures of SOPs violations such as not wearing masks or not maintaining social distancing in crowded places and send those images to a government-issued number along with the location.

The number is 92 335 3336262.

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