2020-06-08T135940Z_253672449_RC215H97I943_RTRMADP_3_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-PAKISTAN-(Read-Only)
A woman rides on a motor bike outside a market, in Karachi, Pakistan. The country reported just 300 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Contrary to fears of a spike in coronavirus cases during Eid al Adha holidays, Pakistan on Monday reported substantial progress against the virus registering only eight deaths and 330 new cases in a period of twenty-four hours.

With a reduction in new cases the number of tests has also gone down and only 11,026 were conducted countrywide during the last 24 hours, according to the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC).

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The total number of cases in Pakistan with these latest figures have reached 280,029 while deaths caused by COVID-19 are at 5,984. The recovery rate stands at 88.9 per cent while the death rate is as low as 2.1 per cent.

Businesses relaxed in Punjab

The Punjab government, seeing the ‘encouraging’ results against the coronavirus, has ended lockdown in the province allowing traders and shopkeepers to resume businesses from 9am to 6pm, however, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are being strictly implemented.

According to a notification issued by the provincial government the lockdown was ended on midnight August 2 instead of August 5.

A tweet from the Punjab government’s account said the decision was taken after “encouraging results from smart samples collected from cattle markets”.

The province reported 24 new cases and four more fatalities, according to the government’s COVID-19 portal.

Balochistan extends lockdown till August 17

The Balochistan government has decided to extend the lockdown in the province until August 17 to curb the spread.

According to the notification, there will be a complete ban on gatherings of more than 10 people, sit-in and processions at public places. Besides, more than two people are not allowed to travel in the same car and all people will have to wear a mask or cover their faces with a piece of cloth in public places.

The provincial government has also decided to keep all educational institutions, marriage halls, parks, auditoriums, cinemas, farmhouses and places of entertainment closed until the given date.

The notification stated that businesses and shops will be allowed to remain open from 9am to 7pm for six days a week.

Meanwhile, former Information Minister Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said she had contracted the virus but did not make the news public.

“I identified gaps in our system by easily hiding my coronavirus test result. Only I and the lab where I got tested knew of my sample,” the politician said.