More than 523,000 infections have been reported
Deaths from COVID-19 in Pakistan crossed the 11,000 mark on Tuesday, government statistics confirmed. The country has recorded a total of 523,011 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
Over the past 24 hours, 58 new virus deaths were reported, an increase from 46 on Monday. Between 40 to 60 deaths are being recorded every day since the new year began.
Among the 58 deaths, 52 were under treatment in different hospitals across the country and six in their homes, according to the latest update by the National Command and Operation Centre. Thirty-seven patients died on ventilators.
Most of the deaths were reported in Punjab and Sindh. The national fatality rate is 2.1%.
The NCOC provided a breakdown of ventilators occupied in major areas in different provinces:
The breakdown of patients on oxygen is:
The recovery rate of patients is 91.1% with an additional 1,243 people recovered from the virus. Total recoveries stand at 476,471. Province-wise updates can be found here.
Pakistan has yet to finalise an order for the COVID-19 vaccine. The government has been in talks with six leading manufacturers.
On Saturday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told Reuters that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had granted emergency use authorisation to the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has emphasised the need for vaccination and said the vaccines cannot be imported until the federal government approves.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan is the last country that has yet to order vaccines,” she said. “Procuring vaccines is the federal government’s responsibility. If they can’t do it, they should allow the provincial government to procure vaccines and start administering them.”
She added that 70% to 80% of Pakistan’s population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.