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Pakistan COVID-19 cases above 64,000, death toll at 1,317; top official says situation under control

The Ministry of National Health Services reported that 25,309 cases were diagnosed in Sindh, 22,964 in Punjab, 8,842 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,928 in Balochistan, 2,100 in Islamabad, 658 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 227 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

May 30, 2020 / 09:00 AM IST

Pakistan's coronavirus cases on Friday reached 64,028 with 2,636 new patients while the death toll climbed to 1,317 after 57 people lost their lives in the last 24 hours, even as the Special Assistant on Health said that the situation is under control.

The Ministry of National Health Services reported that 25,309 cases were diagnosed in Sindh, 22,964 in Punjab, 8,842 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,928 in Balochistan, 2,100 in Islamabad, 658 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 227 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

On the positive side, the ministry said, 22,305 patients have been recovered so far from the virus.

The authorities conducted 11,931 coronavirus tests during the last 24 hours, taking the number of tests done so far to 520,017.

Meanwhile, a senior journalist died on Thursday due to the coronavirus in Peshawar, making him the first media casualty of the virus in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

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And two employees of Radio Pakistan, including a studio engineer and a veteran news reader, died due to the coronavirus.

The trajectory showed that the number was steadily going up with authorities fearing a rise in cases in the wake of the easing of lockdown before Eid which was observed in the country on Sunday.

Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said on Friday that the coronavirus was spreading throughout Pakistan but the situation was in control.

Mirza told reporters that the highest number of cases and deaths were reported during the last 24 hours and the highest number of 157 patient were also put on ventilators.

He said that the number of cases and deaths will continue to increase.

"The situation is under control. About 18-20 per cent of ventilators are being used currently... the situation is a bit serious at big hospitals in cities,” he said.

Mirza also announced new guidelines for handling the bodies of COVID-19 patients after it was found that the coronavirus can be transferred through dead bodies.

He said that people should avoid touching the dead body and those handling it should use PPE such as masks while bathing a dead, wrapping in shroud and interring in the grave.

A senior journalist died on Thursday due to the coronavirus in Peshawar, making him the first media casualty of the virus in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Fakharuddin Syed was admitted to a hospital a few days ago in critical condition.

Two employees of Radio Pakistan including a studio engineer and a veteran news reader also died due to the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Pakistan decided to further enhance the domestic flights operation from the previous 20-22 per cent to 40-45 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 operations, according to Pakistan's Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA).

It tweeted that the enhanced operation will start from June 1 and cover Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.
PTI
first published: May 30, 2020 08:42 am

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