Pakistan records highest single-day spike of 5,387 cases

WHO urges 'intermittent lockdown'


Islamabad: Pakistan has registered its highest single-day spike of coronavirus cases with over 5,000 infections in the last 24 hours, a day after the World Health Organisation urged the government to follow an “intermittent lockdown” policy to stem the spike in the disease.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services, 83 more COVID-19 patients died during the same period, taking the death toll to 2,255 and 5,387 new patients were detected in the last 24 hours.

A total of 36,308 patients have also recovered so far from the disease across the country, the ministry said.

Out of the total 113,702 cases, Punjab has registered 43,460 patients, Sindh 41,303, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 14,527, Balochistan 7,031, Islamabad 5,963, Gilgit-Baltistan 974 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 444.

The ministry said that 23,799 tests were done in the last 24 hours, taking the tally of total tests in the country to 754,252.

The virus is spreading fast but the government has refused a proposal by the World Health Organisation to follow the “intermittent lockdown” policy of two-week lockdown followed by two-week relaxation on alternate basis.

In a letter to Punjab province Health Minister Yasmin Rashid dated June 7, WHO Country Head, Pakistan, Dr Palitha Mahipala said the coronavirus has spread to almost all districts in the country with big cities making up the majority of the cases.

Mahipala has recommended an “intermittent lockdown” approach.

However, advisor on Health Zafar Mirza told the media that no such policy is under consideration .

The WHO country head pointed out that after the partial relaxation on May 1, and complete relaxation on May 22 the infection rate has increased on both occasions.

Pakistan had lifted the virus restrictions in view of an under-control rate of transmission and the health system’s ability to “detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact”.