KARACHI, Pakistan 

Pakistan on Saturday recorded 4,468 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily spike since July last year, said health officials.

That pushed the total caseload to 649,824, according to the Health Ministry.

The country has been recording around 3,000-4,000 daily cases for more than a week and registered 4,339 infections on Friday.

Some 67 people died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the toll to 14,258 since last March, the ministry said.

A total of 593,282 patients have recovered so far, with the number of active cases standing at 42,384.

Infections have surged in the South Asian country of over 200 million in recent days, with more than 68,000 reported in March alone.

Earlier this week, the government said existing COVID-19 restrictions would continue for at least three more weeks.

They include “broader lockdowns” in high-risk areas, with no movement allowed, except for emergencies.

Educational institutions have also been closed until at least April 11 in districts with high infection rates.

Pakistan started vaccinating frontline workers last month, while those aged 60 and older began getting shots on March 10.

Islamabad is in negotiations with Chinese companies to get “millions of more doses” of coronavirus vaccines in the coming days, according to an adviser to the prime minister on health affairs.

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