KARACHI, Pakistan

Twelve people died from coronavirus in Pakistan over the past 24 hours, the second-highest single-day tally in the last several months, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. 

The fresh casualties raised the total number of deaths from the novel virus to 6,535 since March.

Another 625 people were tested positive for coronavirus during the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 326,352, the ministry said.

Some 301,288 patients have so far recovered.

COVID-19 cases have dropped considerably in Pakistan in recent months, prompting the government to completely lift a longstanding lockdown.

The number of cases dropped from nearly 7,000 per day to about 400, with daily fatalities hovering in the single digits.

However, additional cases doubled over the past two weeks after schools reopened last month, forcing the government to reimpose the lockdown in several parts of the commercial capital Karachi, and Lahore, the country’s second-largest city

Pakistani-administered Kashmir also reimposed lockdown measures on Sunday to help curb surging infections, as well as violations of health guidelines.

A study by Pakistan’s leading blood disease institute suggested last month that there was a slim chance of a second wave in the country of the virus, further backing the government’s policy of reopening businesses.

The cross-sectional study done at the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) in Karachi was published by Oxford University Press’ Journal of Public Health.

The study by a team of microbiologists, hematologists and pathologists led by Dr. Samreen Zaidi included nearly 1,700 people from healthcare, community, and industrial workers.

According to Zaidi, Pakistan has “almost” achieved herd immunity, indicating that there are low chances of a second wave of the pandemic.

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