KARACHI, Pakistan 

In a first, Pakistan on Wednesday recorded over 5,000 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the highest single-day rise ever, official statistics said.

With 5,385 new cases, Pakistan’s tally of coronavirus cases has reached 113,702, already surpassing China and Saudi Arabia, putting the country at number 15 worldwide in terms of cases, the data shows.

Another 83 patients lost their lives due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, across the country, raising the death toll from the pandemic to 2,255. Some 36,308 patients have recovered.

According to the official statistics, authorities have so far conducted 754,252 tests across the country.

Health experts see the ever-rising caseload as a result of the lifting of a prolonged lockdown late last month, warning that the country’s already weak healthcare system could crash soon if the tally continues to surge at the current pace.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Pakistan the second-riskiest country after Afghanistan in terms of vulnerability to the pandemic.

In a letter to the government on Tuesday, the UN health agency suggested a two-week strict lockdown to contain the surging outbreak.

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