Pakistan has reported more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of infections to over 34,000, while 31 more people have succumbed to the coronavirus, health officials said on Saturday, amidst the easing of lockdown restrictions. The Pakistan government announced last week that it would begin a phased lifting of the lockdown due to its effect on the economy and the workforce. The Ministry of National Health Services said that 2,255 cases were confirmed positive on Tuesday after 11,848 tests were conducted.
A total of 31 fresh deaths have been reported, taking the number of fatalities in the country to 737, it said, adding that the number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country have rise to 34,336.
So far, 13,225 cases have been registered in Punjab, 12,610 in Sindh, 5,021 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,158 in Balochistan, 759 in Islamabad, 475 in Gilgit Baltistan and 88 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the ministry said.
A total of 8,812 patients have recovered and 317,699 tests have been conducted, it said.
The number of new cases is rising fast since last week and the officials are urging people to follow guidelines and avoid going outside.
The number of infected passengers being repatriated to Pakistan is also disturbing. As many as 379 more nationals returning from various countries on the last 24 special flights have tested positive.
The special flights had brought 4,344 Pakistanis between April 28 and May 8.
The official record shows that a total of 7,756 Pakistanis have returned home from abroad on 43 flights from April 14 to May 10. Of them, 682 passengers were tested positive and given treatment.
The test results of 760 passengers arriving from Dubai on May 10 are awaited. Officials confirmed that the number of positive cases among returnees from the UAE was higher as compared to the passengers coming from other countries.
Meanwhile, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail tweeted that he had recovered from the novel coronavirus.
"Alhamdulilah I have received my test results in which I have been tested negative for COVID19. Many thanks to all those who prayed for my health. I will soon be donating blood plasma to those in need," he said.
Ismail tested positive for the virus late last month.