COVID-19 cases in Pakistan cross 23,000


Labourers wearing facemasks work at a construction site during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Islamabad on May 6, 2020. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Labourers wearing facemasks work at a construction site during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Islamabad on May 6, 2020. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

PAKISTAN reported 1,049 new COVID-19 cases and 40 deaths on Wednesday (6). The total number of patients in the country now stands at 23,274. As many as 535 people have lost their lives due to the disease, health officials said.

According to the ministry of national health services, Punjab province reported 8,420 cases, Sindh 8,189, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 3,499, Balochistan 1,495, Islamabad 485, Gilgit-Baltistan 386 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 76 cases.

The ministry said that a total of 6,217 patients have recovered. So far 232,582 tests were conducted, including 10,178 in the last 24 hours.  Though the number of cases has been increasing the government wants to ease the lockdown.

Recently, prime minister Imran Khan said the nationwide lockdown will be lifted gradually, asserting that Pakistan cannot afford an indefinite closure. A meeting of all stakeholders to discuss the issue of lifting some restrictions and allowing more businesses to open up will take place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that the train service may begin operations partially from May 10. And initially some 40 trains could be made operational.

The move, however, attracted serious opposition from the Sindh government which warned the centre against taking any such decision that it feared could cause the further spread of the novel coronavirus, reports said.

In a statement, Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah said the proposed move by the federal government to resume the train service could become another disaster amid serious advice by health experts for social distancing.