Pakistan on Thursday surpassed China, the first epicentre of the coronavirus, after a record 4,688 new cases were registered during the last 24 hours to take the tally to 85,246. China with 84,160 patients has been placed at 18th position, one step lower than Pakistan, according to the data of Johns Hopkins University.
On Thursday, the Ministry of National Health Services said till now Pakistan has witnessed the deaths of 1,770 patients with COVID-19, including 82 in the last 24 hours. The country registered 4,688 new COVID-19 cases during the period, the highest in a single day, the ministry said.
Another 30,128 had recovered. Sindh so far reported 32,910 patients of coronavirus, Punjab 31,104, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 11,373, Balochistan 5,224, Islamabad 3,544, Gilgit-Baltistan 824 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir reported 285 cases of the viral disease. On the positive side a record 20,167 tests were done in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of tests conducted so far to 615,511.
As the number of infections continue to go up, Minister for Planning Asad Umar said an effective media campaign is being launched across the country to create awareness and to educate the masses for voluntary compliance of Standard Operating Procedures. Chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre, Umar said there should be a clear message conveyed to the masses that the government is going to spearhead stringent actions to ensure social distancing and compliance of safety guidelines in public places and high risk areas, Radio Pakistan reported.
He said administrative actions would be initiated across the country against the violators of standard operating procedure put at place to contain the spread of COVID-19. The coronavirus epidemic, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan last year, has infected over 6,511,000 people and killed over 3,86,000 across the world.