KARACHI, Pakistan 

Pakistan has reported 78 record deaths from pandemic in a single day since the novel coronavirus struck the South Asian nuclear state in March, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The country has recorded 135 deaths in the past two days, and over 5,000 new cases, with health experts warning of a steep rise in the number of infections in coming days.

On Saturday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 66,457 with 2,429 additions in the past 24 hours. With new fatalities, the number of total deaths from the virus have reached 1,396.

According to the Health Ministry statistics, the southern Sindh province tops the tally with 26,113 cases followed by the northeastern Punjab where 24,104 people have so far been infected with the virus.

Minister infected

Shehryar Afridi, federal minister and chairman of the parliament’s Kashmir Committee, has tested positive for coronavirus.

In a video message, Afridi confirmed the development, and said he had gone into self-isolation.

Globally, the pandemic has claimed nearly 365,200 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December. The US and Europe are currently the world’s worst-hit regions.

More than 5.94 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 2.5 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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