Tuesday Jan 19 2021

Pakistan crosses 11,000 COVID-19 deaths as two vaccines get approved for emergency use

A Reuters file image.

  • On average, 48.8 COVID-19 deaths being reported every day since start of January
  • Active cases stand at 35,485
  • Pakistan has one of the highest rates of recovery

ISLAMABAD: The number of coronavirus deaths in Pakistan surged to 11,055 on Tuesday, according to the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) tally as a new coronavirus variant threatens the country's prevention measures to curb the pandemic.

Since the start of January 2021, the country has witnessed 48.8 deaths on average every day with hospital intensive care units nearing capacity across the country as active COVID-19 cases surge to 35,485.

Over 2,000 people died of coronavirus in the month of December last year while the death toll for November 2020 was 1,268 and October recorded 339 fatalities.

Read more: Pakistan's drug authority approves emergency use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine

On Tuesday, the country's COVID-19 case tally stood at 523,011 with 1,800 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours. The NCOC data shows that 40,833 people have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the new year - at an average of 2268.5 infections per day.

The month of December 2020 saw a total of 81,696 cases while November and October's infection tally stood at 66,512 and 21,164.

The uptick comes as authorities okayed two anti-coronavirus vaccine for emergency use across the country - the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine with 70.4% efficacy and China's Sinopharm vaccine with an efficacy of 79%.

With the approval by Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP), the federal and provincial governments as well as the private sector is free to import the vaccines and administer it.

Pakistan has one of the highest recovery rates in the world as 91.1% (or 476,471) of all COVID-19 patients have made a full recovery. In the past 24 hours, the country saw 1,243 testing negative for the virus.