Pakistan reported a record 40 deaths due to the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 1,049 new cases, health officials said on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of National Health Services, Punjab province reported 8,420 cases, Sindh 8,189, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 3,499, Balochistan 1,495, Islamabad 485, Gilgit-Baltistan 386 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 76 cases. The ministry said that a record 40 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 526. The country detected 1,049 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total to 22,413, it said.
A total of 6,217 patients have recovered. So far 232,582 tests were conducted, including 10,178 in the last 24 hours. Undeterred by the mounting number of deaths and new cases, the federal government is pushing for easing the lockdown. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the nationwide lockdown will be lifted gradually, asserting that Pakistan cannot afford an indefinite closure.
An important meeting of all stakeholders is expected on Wednesday to discuss the issue of lifting some restrictions and allowing more businesses to open up. Meanwhile, Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that the train service may begin operations partially from May 10. And initially some 40 trains could be made operational.
The move, however, attracted serious opposition from the Sindh government which warned the Centre against taking any such decision that it feared could cause the further spread of the novel coronavirus, Dawn News reported. In a statement, Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah said the proposed move by the federal government to resume the train service could become another disaster amid serious advice by health experts for social distancing.
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