Pakistan on Friday announced a lockdown in its southernmost province of Sindh amid rising coronavirus cases.

According to an official notification by the provincial government, the lockdown will remain in place until Aug. 15.

All public places including parks and restaurants will remain closed to curb the spread of the virus.

Pakistan on Friday reported 2,085 new cases bringing the tally to 259,997, according to the Health Ministry.

The country also recorded 49 more fatalities raising the death toll to 5,475.

A total of 1,875 are in critical condition in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the government claims there has been a decline in new cases of the virus, amid local media reports saying this decrease is due to a reduction in testing.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan said said the reduction in cases has been due to its targeted lockdown policy and observation of social distancing rules.

“Pak [Pakistan] is amongst the fortunate countries where COVID 19 cases in hospitals, esp in intensive care & death rate have gone down, unlike in our unfortunate neighbor India,” Khan tweeted

He urged the public to follow social distancing rules during the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid ul Adha.

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