Explained: Rise in Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, death toll and vaccination

  • As Pakistan scrambles to vaccinate its population, the Covid-19 infection tally in the country stood at 756,285 on Sunday and the positivity rate continued to climb, reaching 8.5 percent, as per a report in Dawn.
A man and child with protective masks walk outside a market as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic continues, in Karachi, Pakistan.(Reuters)
A man and child with protective masks walk outside a market as the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic continues, in Karachi, Pakistan.(Reuters)
Updated on Apr 18, 2021 06:28 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Amid surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in South Asia, Pakistan on Sunday reported its highest single-day spike in new cases this year with 6,127 cases. The previous highest surge in Covid-19 cases was recorded last year on June 20 when the country reported 6,825 infections and 153 deaths. The country on Sunday reported 149 Covid-related fatalities- the second highest number of fatalities since the pandemic began- which pushed the death toll to 16,243. As the country scrambles to vaccinate its population, the infection tally in the country stands at 756,285 and the positivity rate continued to climb, reaching 8.5 percent on Sunday, as per a report in Dawn.

Is the rise in Covid-19 cases reported throughout Pakistan?

The rise in new Covid-19 cases is being reported in all the provinces in Pakistan. The highest number of Covid-19 cases was reported in the Punjab province which added 3,562 infections, thus marking the first time that the province reported more than 3,000 infections since the pandemic began. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 958 new coronavirus cases on Sunday which were down from 1,061 on Saturday. Balochistan recorded 62 cases and the caseload in the province reached 20,822 on Sunday.

People with masks against Covid-19 travel by rikshaw (tok tok) in Karachi, Pakistan. (Reuters)
People with masks against Covid-19 travel by rikshaw (tok tok) in Karachi, Pakistan. (Reuters)

What about the death toll, critical cases and the recoveries in Pakistan?

The death toll in Pakistan has crossed the 16,000 mark and currently stands at 16,094 cases. Sunday marked the fifth consecutive day that the country reported more than 100 Covid related fatalities, reported Dawn. The active cases in Pakistan stand at 79,108 and according to the government’s Covid-19 portal 4,984 patients have been admitted to hospitals in the country and are in critical condition. The total number of recoveries in the country has reached 659,483 after 4,527 more recoveries were reported in the country on Sunday.

A vial with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine is seen before being administered, at a private hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.(Reuters)
A vial with Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine is seen before being administered, at a private hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.(Reuters)

Where does Pakistan stand on the vaccination front?

With a population of over 220 million, the country’s vaccination programme has faced major challenges and remains slow owing to the lack of availability of the doses. Currently the country’s vaccination programme, which began on February 2, has only covered 1.3 million people. Amid rise in new cases, Pakistan’s government has announced that it will expand its vaccination programme to include people in the age group of 50-59 years from April 21. Till now, the immunization drive was restricted to people above the age of 60. The country’s vaccination programme is largely dependent on China’s Covid-19 vaccines although some private companies have imported a limited number of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia. The country had also expected to receive around 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in March under the COVAX initiative but was unable to do so. Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted about the same, saying that the country will now receive 15 million AstraZeneca jabs by June 30. “Following my meeting with Foreign Minister @HeikoMaas, I am happy to announce that Pakistan will receive 15 million doses of the #COVID vaccine under COVAX, with a commitment for these to be delivered by May,” Qureshi said in a tweet.

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Monday, December 06, 2021