Pakistan vaccine Sputnik covid
A health worker prepares a Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine at a private hospital, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday reported more than 100 deaths from the coronavirus for a fourth straight day. At least 15,928 people in the country have lost their lives to the virus since the pandemic began last February, with 110 new fatalities in the past 24 hours.

The country reported 5,364 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours for the second day in a row, taking the total number of cases to 745,182. Nearly 87 per cent of the people have recovered from the virus in the country.

Record tests conducted in a day

On April 15, a total 64,481 tests were conducted – the highest number since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Pakistan in February 2020. Nearly 8 per cent of the 64,400 tested positive for the virus. There are currently 78,425 active coronavirus cases in the country of 220 million which is struggling to contain the third wave of the virus.

Pressure on healthcare system

The continuous surge in cases has put an enormous pressure on the healthcare system as the virus situation is now worse than June last year, special assistant to PM on health Dr Faisal Sultan said. The situation could exacerbate if people do not follow the precautions, he cautioned. Health officials have blamed the lax attitude of the people toward mask wearing and health guidelines for the spike in cases. “Only five per cent of the people wear masks and violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) has become the norm across the country,” Dr Sultan said as he urged the public and particularly religious scholars to advise their followers to adhere to coronavirus guidelines during Ramadan.

Vaccination update

More than 1.3 million people, mostly healthcare workers and people above 50 years of age, have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Pakistan, according to official statistics. As many as 350,000 people have reportedly received their second dose as well. The average number of daily doses being administered in Pakistan is around 70,000.

Pakistan is set to receive 15 million doses of the vaccine from the UN-backed COVAX facility by May, apart from procuring 7 million doses from China. Pakistan has also announced to locally manufacture vaccines with assistance from China to speed up the slow vaccination drive.