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Thursday Jan 14 2021

Pakistan records biggest jump in coronavirus cases in nearly a month

A Reuters file image of men walking on the streets. 

  • Daily COVID-19 cases cross 3,000 for the first time in 26 days
  • Test positivity rate registers its highest uptick in nearly a month
  • Majority of the new infections reported in Sindh

Pakistan reported its biggest jump in novel coronavirus cases in nearly a month as infections in the southern province of Sindh rose by 1,769 in the past 24 hours.

Data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) showed that 3,097 people tested positive for COVID-19 across the country on January 13, raising the national tally to 511,921. 

The last time Pakistan's single-day tally crossed the 3,000 mark was on December 18 last year when NCOC reported 3,179 infections. 

Related: Pakistan’s coronavirus cases cross 500,000 as pandemic intensifies

Meanwhile, the case positivity rate also shot up to 7.4% - the highest since December 17. The number of active cases has risen to 33,869 with at least 2,410 patients under critical care - conditions of 44 deteriorated in the past 24 hours only.

The virus claimed 46 lives in a day, bringing the national death toll to 10,818. While 2,284 people recovered, raising recoveries to 467,234.

Over 29,743 cases have been reported across the country since the beginning of the new year while 642 people have died. Last month, December 2020, the NCOC reported 80,796 infections.

Pakistan is currently in the grip of a second wave of infections with a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus, first identified in the United Kingdom, detected in Sindh.

Anti-coronavirus measures

The federal government has already made face masks mandatory in public spaces, limited large public gatherings to 300, banned indoor weddings, closed shrines, cinemas, and theatres, and instructed public and private offices to adopt a work-from-home policy and 50% occupancy.

Furthermore, all provinces have banned indoor dining and limited timings for markets, shops, and shopping malls. Many areas in the country have been placed under smart lockdowns.

The education ministers announced the reopening of educational institutes in phases from January 25. Read the full story here.