ISLAMABAD

A minister in Pakistan on Friday warned the country could be hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave next month, asking people to adhere to safety measures and get vaccinated.

“Reviewed the artificial intelligence based disease modeling analysis today … In the absence of strong SOP enforcement and continued strong vaccination program, the 4th wave could emerge in Pakistan in July,” tweeted Asad Umar, who leads the country’s anti-virus task force.

“Please adhere to sop’s and vaccinate as soon as possible.”

Amid a falling infection rate and an expedited vaccination drive, most of the restrictions in Pakistan have been eased.

But an apparent resistance to follow health guidelines such as wearing masks and vaccine hesitancy has led provincial governments to warn of drastic measures such as blocking cellphone connections, and withholding the salaries of government employees who are not inoculated.

Pakistan, which has obtained vaccines largely from China, has administered over 13.5 million doses so far. Anyone over 18 years old can now be vaccinated.

During the past 24 hours, the country recorded 1,052 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload to 952,907. With 44 more fatalities, the death toll reached 22,152.

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