Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Tuesday rose to 148,921 after 4,443 new infections were reported over the past 24 hours.
Overall, 55,878 cases were reported in Punjab, 55,581 in Sindh, 18,472 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 8,327 in Balochistan, 8,857 in Islamabad, 1,143 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and 663 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the death toll related to coronavirus has reached 2,839 with 111 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours while around 56,390 patients have fully recovered from the disease.
Nearly one-and-a-half months after imposing the lockdown across the country, the government announced to ease the lockdown in phases, however, the number of coronavirus cases has continued to soar.
Meanwhile, the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) on Monday identified 20 cities across the country with potential Covid-19 hotspots.
According to press release issued by the centre, the NCOC identified 20 cities across the country using a strategy termed as 'testing, tracing and quarantining (TTQ).
The strategy involves ramping up Covid-19 testing followed by rapidly tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of positive and suspected cases.
The cities have been identified by the NCOC for the enforcement of "necessary restrictive measures" includes Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranawala, Sialkot, Gujarat, Dera Ghazi Khan, Swat, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Ghotki, Larkana, Khairpur, Malakand, Mardan.
Moreover, Punjab government has announced to impose a two-week lockdown in various areas of Lahore.
Addressing a press conference, provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid announced that a two-week lockdown will be imposed in certain areas of Lahore from Tuesday midnight.
"Food stores and pharmacies will remain open in these areas," clarified the minister, adding that the areas will undergo a complete lockdown for at least two weeks. She added that these areas will be reopened after t the situation is assessed.
These areas include Shahdra, Shad Bagh, Mazang, Harbanspura, Walled City, Nishtar Town, some areas in Gulberg and Allama Iqbal Town.
It is pertinent to mention that the global coronavirus cases have reportedly surpassed 8 million and death toll tops 433,000.