ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday recorded 20 deaths from COVID-19, the lowest daily figure since February, according to Health Ministry data.

Total fatalities from the novel coronavirus in the country rose to 22,231, according to the Health Ministry, which also reported 914 additional infections over the last 24 hours, bringing the case count to 955,657.

Daily cases have been declining in Pakistan since earlier this month from 2,028 cases on June 2.

The country registered 16 fatalities on Feb. 21 — the lowest in 2021 — while 201 deaths were recorded on April 27, the highest since the country was hit by a third virus wave in March.

Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, who leads the country’s anti-coronavirus task force, warned on Friday, however, that the country could be hit by a 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 (standard operating procedures) enforcement and continued strong vaccination program, the 4th wave could emerge in Pakistan in July,” tweeted Umar.

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

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

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

Pakistan, which has obtained most of its vaccine doses from China, has administered over 14.7 million so far. Anyone over 18 years old is eligible for vaccination.

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