Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Saturday rose to 68,301.
Overall, 24,104 cases were reported in Punjab, 27,360 in Sindh, 9,540 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,193 in Balochistan, 678 in Gilgit Baltistan, 2,192 in Islamabad, and 234 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
According to the National Command and Control Centre, the death toll related to COVID-19 has reached 1,443, while at least 24,131 patients have fully recovered.
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 Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said on Saturday that wearing masks at crowded places has been declared mandatory to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said in view of growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths due to this disease, the government has left no option, except to declare wearing of masks a must at mosques, markets, shopping malls, public transport, and other crowded places.
He appealed the masses to strictly follow precautionary protocols and other measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
The SAPM said that 78 people, including four health workers, died of Coronavirus in last 24 hours, which is the biggest tally in a single day in Pakistan.
"Health workers are the frontline force in fight against COVID-19 and the government has taken a number of measures to protect health workers under 'we care' programme," he added.
Regarding some messages, circulating on social media based on disinformation, the SAPM urged the opinion makers to guide people how to prevent the contagion instead of forwarding and promoting fake news on digital platforms.
He also urged families of COVID-19 patients to demonstrate patience, while interacting with health workers at hospitals, who are treating Corona affected people.
"Recovery rate of COVID-19 patients is 36 percent, while locally transmission rate stands at 92 percent and despite rise in the cases, only around 25 percent of our health system has been engaged so far," Dr Zafar Mirza said.
It is pertinent to mention that the global coronavirus cases have reportedly surpassed 5.93 million and death toll tops 364,000.