Pakistan on Saturday announced the highest daily death toll from coronavirus this year as the authorities recorded 157 fatalities over the past 24 hours.
The nationwide count neared 17,000 with the fresh fatalities. Only in April, the South Asian country has recorded over 2,600 deaths from COVID-19.
It is the second-highest daily total since the pandemic hit the South Asian country in March 2020. A total of 159 people died from the infection on June 20 last year.
Most deaths have been reported from the northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkwa provinces, as the government on Friday approved the deployment of army troops nationwide to reinforce measures against coronavirus.
Around 5,900 infections were reported in the last 24 hours, pushing the total caseload to beyond 790,000.
The current number of active cases across the country is around 86,500, whereas some 686,500 patients have so far recovered.
The government and health officials has warned that if the ongoing pace of infections continues in coming days, the country may face a situation similar to India, where the surging pandemic has battered the already weak health system of the world’s second-most populated country.
According to the Pakistani Health Ministry, in several district hospitals, over 90% of ventilators and oxygen beds are already occupied, raising new fears about the country’s poor health system.
Islamabad is set to receive millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses from different countries in the coming weeks to speed up its slow immunization campaign. So far, out of 210 million population, slightly over 1.3 million people, including health professionals and people aged above 50, have been vaccinated.
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