Pakistan’s Upward Coronavirus Spiral Continues as Total Infections neared 150,000
Pakistan’s upward spiral of new virus infections neared 145,000 Monday amid warnings from political leaders that the numbers could double by the end of June and were likely to hit a stunning 1.2 million by the end of July if Pakistan’s 220 million people continue to flout necessary precautions like mask-wearing.
Planning and Development Minister Asad Umer, who also heads the government’s COVID-19 command center, warned that the virus would rampage through Pakistan unless there is “a change in our attitude toward the virus,” that ceases the constant denial of most in Pakistan to physical distance and use masks in public.
Still, he defended Pakistan’s easing on lockdown restrictions saying the country’s economy would collapse under the burden of a total shutdown. Pakistan has stepped back on some easing of restrictions, closing markets on the weekend, and extending closures of large wedding halls, restaurants, gymnasiums, and large gatherings.
Pakistan’s doctors have pleaded for stricter lockdowns saying the struggling health care system is already straining under the escalating numbers of infections. On Monday. Pakistan reached 2,729 deaths since mid-March.
Pakistan breached its prior record for a single-day increase in COVID-19 cases, recording 6,825 new cases across the country on Sunday, the Health Ministry stated. With the most advanced figures, the amount of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has increased to 144,478.
Some 53,721 patients have recovered so far. Another 97 people died of coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, raising the death toll to 2,729, the statistics showed.
The statistics reveal that the rate of fatalities in confirmed cases also increased to 2%, from 1.7% before, while recoveries also soared from 20% to 32%. The data revealed that most losses occurred in victims age 60-69, at a rate of almost 30%.
Over 100 lawmakers, including two ex-prime ministers, the current opposition leader, and several state ministers, have also contracted by the virus.
Health specialists see the growing caseload as a consequence of the lifting of an extended lockdown late last month, recommending that the country’s previously weak healthcare infrastructure could collapse soon if the tally remains to grow at the prevailing speed.
The World Health Organization has named Pakistan the second-riskiest country after Afghanistan in expressions of vulnerability to the outbreak. In a message to the government on Tuesday last week, the UN health bureau recommended a two-week stern lockdown to hold the surging pandemic.
Responding to the advice, Zafar Mirza, the prime minister’s health advisor, stated that the country executed resolutions in the best benefits of the people. Even Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out a strict shutdown, saying a “smart lockdown” is the only solution for developing economies.