Pakistan peshawar-1627047387311
People gather to see a camel slaughtering on Eid Al Adha as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, in Peshawar on July 21, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Islamabad: Pakistan has passed the grim milestone of 1 million cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began last year.

Pakistan reported another 11 deaths on Friday and 1,425 new cases of infection, bringing the country’s tally to 1,000,034 people infected. The nation has confirmed 22,939 deaths.

Infections have been steadily increasing as the more contagious delta variant spreads, and authorities expect a new surge from public activities during the Eid Al Adha holiday this week.

About 30 nations exceed 1 million cases, and more than 190 million people have been infected worldwide, a number considered an undercount.

New cases below 2,000

The new daily cases marked the first time that the country reported less than 2,000 new cases in a day after almost one week’s time, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data showed.

The Centre said that the Sindh province has been the worst hit, with a total of 362,182 confirmed cases, followed by Punjab province with 351,707 infections.

A total of 22,939 people have so far died of the disease nationwide, the NCOC said, adding that 2,525 people are in critical condition.

The country currently has 53,623 active cases while 923,472 others have recovered from the disease.

Pakistan is currently facing the challenge of the surging fourth wave with the delta variant spreading across all provinces.

According to a recently conducted survey in Karachi, almost 100 per cent of new COVID-19 cases being detected in the city are of the delta variant.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government has decided to reimpose restrictions in the province from Monday amid a spike in cases.

The decision came following a meeting of the provincial coronavirus task force chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, reported Geo News.

The Health Secretary Kazim Jatoi informed the meeting that the positivity ratio of the province has climbed to 10.3 per cent, while the provincial capital’s ratio is at 21.58 per cent.

Shah said that the coronavirus situation in the provinces was alarming and warned that it could turn worse after Eid holday.

From Monday, shopping malls and markets will be allowed to operate from 6am till 6pm and, general stores, bakeries and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open, reported Geo News.

The provincial government has also decided that there would be a ban on marriage halls and other functions. It was also decided that shrines in the province will be closed.

Restaurants will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services from Monday onwards. The provincial government has also decided that education centres will be closed across Sindh from Monday, but exams will be held as per schedule.

Meanwhile, the Sindh government has decided to write to the NCOC and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to get the mobile sims of unvaccinated people blocked, reported Geo News.

Adviser to Chief Minister Murtaza Wahab on Friday tweeted that the Sindh government has decided to approach the NCOC and the PTA that mobile sims of unvaccinated people should be blocked.

A spokesperson to Sindh CM said that the PTA would be asked to send messages to the telecom users asking them to get vaccinated and block the sims of those not getting the jab within a week.

The chief minister also directed to stop salaries of unvaccinated government employees from the next month, reported Geo News.