People look at the cargo ship Heng Tong 77 before it is dragged by a salvage crane, after it ran aground near Sea View beach in Karachi, on August 24, 2021. Pakistan on Wednesday reported 141 deaths from COVID-19, one of its highest tallies since May. Image Credit: REUTERS

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday reported 141 deaths from COVID-19, one of its highest tallies since May.

According to Pakistan’s National Command and Operations Center, more than 4,000 new coronavirus infections were also reported in the past 24 hours.

The surge comes amid widespread violations of social distancing and new rules regarding vaccinations.

Pakistan announced on Tuesday vaccinations will be required of teachers, professors, school staff and students older than 17 and unvaccinated people will be barred from entering educational institutions starting October 15.

Unvaccinated people also will not be allowed to use public transport or enter shopping malls from Oct. 15.

Pakistan, with a population of about 220 million, has reported more than 1,134,000 infections and 25,220 deaths in the pandemic.

Most deaths occurred in Sindh followed by Punjab. Of the total 141 deaths occurred, 59 of them were on ventilators. There are 5,586 infected patients in critical condition.

US shipping 3 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan

The United States will ship just over 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan via the COVAX global distribution programme on Tuesday, bringing the total number of doses sent there to around 8.5 million, a White House official said.

An additional 700,000 doses will follow, the official said.

It was not immediately clear when they would be shipped to Pakistan.

Scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries worked together to ensure the delivery of the 3,006,900 vaccine lots made by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, the official said.

The shipment is part of a US vaccine diplomacy effort that has sent vaccines to dozens of countries. The doses will be delivered through the COVAX program, jointly run by the World Health Organization, the official said.

Only 6.2% of 13.4 million of Pakistan’s total population of 220 million have been fully vaccinated, according to the Our World in Data website.