ISLAMABAD: As the country grapples with rising COVID-19 cases amid the second wave of coronavirus, Pakistan records the highest single-day deaths on Tuesday with 89 new fatalities over the past 24 hours, revealed the data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC).

As of today, Pakistan reported 2,885 new infections during the past 24 hours, taking the total tally to 423,179 – out of which 44,218 cases are active. However, at least 2,486 patients are under critical care with 336 on ventilators.

Amid rising concerns from the authorities, the positivity rate of coronavirus has climbed up to 8.58%, with the highest COVID-19 prevalence observed in Karachi as 21.80% of the PCR tests conducted in the past 24 hours detected SARS-CoV-2.

Mirpur has reported an 18.31% positivity rate, followed by 16% in Muzaffarabad.

On the other hand, Hyderabad’s positivity rate has fallen to 9.15% and Lahore’s to 5.98%. Meanwhile, Rawalpindi recorded 8.51% and 14.91%.

Both Sindh and Punjab recorded 41 new deaths while six died of coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan reported no deaths in the past 24 hours.

Overall, Sindh has the highest case positivity rate of 13.87%, AJK is second at 9.77%, closely followed by KP at 9.67% while Balochistan reported 8.68%, Islamabad 4.88%, Punjab 4%, and GB 2.78%.

The country reported 13,932 new recoveries in the past 24 hours – 12,214 of which were reported in Punjab – raising the total recoveries to 370,474.

In a bid to curtail the mushrooming cases, the federal government has made face masks mandatory in public spaces, limited large public gatherings to 300, banned indoor weddings, closed shrines, cinemas, and theatres, and instructed public and private offices to adopt a work-from-home policy and 50% occupancy.

All provinces have also banned indoor dining and limited timings for markets, shops, and shopping malls. Many areas in the country have been placed under smart lockdowns.

Why deaths are happening

Punjab’s provincial health minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid on Tuesday said that given the increasing number of coronavirus cases, people should follow safety measures, adding that if the government is compelled to impose a complete lockdown, the working class will suffer the most.

Dr Rashid said that by following SOPs, such as wearing masks in shops, the cases can be brought down by 70%.
She also said that people should be extra careful during the winter as changing weather conditions weaken a person’s immune system, making them prone to catching the virus.