KARACHI: Pakistan confirmed 33 more deaths from novel coronavirus in one day as the nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 803 and positive cases surged to 37,218, reported on Friday.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 1,430 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours.
Punjab remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic followed by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Till now 13,914 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Punjab, 14,099 in Sindh, 5,423 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,310 in Balochistan, 866 in Islamabad, 501 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 105 in Azad Kashmir.
Patients are under treatment at quarantine centers of 462 hospitals where 7,295 beds are available.
Pakistan has so far conducted 344,450 coronavirus tests and 13,700 in last 24 hours. 10,155 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas many are in critical condition.
Following the continuous violation of SOPs and precautionary measures by the traders, the Punjab government is considering closing various markets in Lahore.
According to sources, a high level meeting was held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar. The meeting expressed serious concerns over the situation in the markets.
Sources said that SOPs were being violated in markets and the proposal to close some markets immediately in being considered.
According to sources, the government is considering to close Hall Road, Shah Alam Market, Anarkali and Azam Market in Lahore, while there are no security measures at Ichhra Bazaar, Township Bazaar and other places.
Sources privy to the government said that the shops will be challaned in the first phase and then the shops will be sealed as SOPs do not seem to be implemented.
On Tuesday, Punjab government had threatened to re-impose a lockdown if the businesses continue to flout SOPs issued by the government as a part of easing the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at the LCCI, Provincial Minister for Industries and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal said that the actions of the traders are not pleasing and are affecting the efforts of the government to control the outbreak of COVID-19.
The minister said if traders continue to disregard the SOPs agreed on before easing the lockdown, Punjab government won’t think twice about re-imposing the lockdown. This time around, however, the lockdown will be stricter than the previous one.
Mian Aslam Iqbal said Lahore has become the centre of the coronavirus in Punjab and the locally transmitted cases of the virus are increasing the country, adding that the traders must show a sense of responsibility to avoid the lockdown reimposition. -Web Desk