Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Wednesday rose to 113,702 after 5,385 new infections were reported over the past 24 hours.
Overall, 43,460 cases were reported in Punjab, 41,303 in Sindh, 14,527 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 7,031 in Balochistan, 5,963 in Islamabad, 974 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 444 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the death toll related to coronavirus has reached 2,255 with 83 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours while around 36,308 patients have fully recovered from the disease.
The number of coronavirus cases has continued to soar despite the country remained under a lockdown nearly one and a half month.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza says the government is pursuing a holistic strategy to combat coronavirus.
In a statement on Wednesday with reference to the World Health Organisation (WHO) letter, he said we have made best sovereign decisions in the best interest of our people.
Dr Zafar Mirza said we have to make tough policy choices to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods.
The SAPM said Pakistan has consciously but gradually eased generalised lockdowns but at the same time it has focused on enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in shops, industries, mosques and public transport etc.
Mask donning has been made compulsory in the country, Mirza said adding that a robust tracing, testing and quarantine policy has been developed in the country to identify hotspots and cordon off them. Currently there are more than seven hundred such smart lockdowns in place.
"Other plank of our strategy is ramping up of our health system to cater to the growing number of patients," Dr Mirza asserted.
The SAPM said Pakistan’s choice of policies has been guided by the best evidence available about the disease spread and government’s best assessment of the fast deteriorating socio economic conditions in the country.
Dr Zafar Mirza said Pakistan appreciates its longstanding partnership with the WHO in health including in this pandemic.
He said that WHO only takes health-related factors into account whereas governments have to think of the public’s livelihoods as well.
It is pertinent to mention that the global coronavirus cases have reportedly surpassed 7.21 million and death toll tops 408,000.