Pakistan reported a record jump of over 2,000 coronavirus cases in a single day, bringing the total number of cases to over 35,000 amidst easing of lockdown. The country’s death toll from the coronavirus on Wednesday rose to 761, with 28 new fatalities. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday accused the Imran Khan government of failing to provide leadership and policy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic
Pakistan reported a record number of 2,255 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as the spread of the infection through local transmission showed a dangerous upward trajectory in a recent report published by the World Health Organisation Pakistan chapter The total number of positive cases in the country on Wednesday rose to 35,384.
Addressing the Parliament, Abbasi said governments across the world develop a four-point strategy, including awareness, containment, medical response and economic management but the Imran Khan government had not strategy.
Abbasi who is also vice president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said that the government had "systemic issues" and is unable to run the country. He also raised questions over the government's lockdown policy. "Initially, the government said there was no lockdown. Later, it said that the lockdown was being eased, after which the government announced that it will now impose a smart lockdown," he said.
The former premier also demanded the government to provide details of the money it spent on medical equipment, the prime minister's volunteer force and other measures taken to combat the virus.
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 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. So far, 13,230 cases have been registered in Punjab, 13,341 in Sindh, 5,252 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,239 in Balochistan, 759 in Islamabad, 475 in Gilgit Baltistan and 88 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
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.
(With inputs from PTI)