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This past week, the number of novel coronavirus cases has surged in Pakistan particularly in Punjab. This spike has prompted the Buzdar administration to implement strict lockdown restrictions across the province.

As per the daily COVID-19 updates provided by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), out of the 2,664 new cases that were detected in Pakistan in the last 24 hours 1,653 belonged to Punjab. That means over 62% of newly infected cases were reported from the most populated region of the country.

The coronavirus fatality rate is also higher in Punjab than in other provinces. Yesterday, 32 virus-related deaths were reported in Pakistan out of which 21 belonged from Punjab.

To date, a total of 185,468 COVID-19 cases have been detected in Punjab while 5,753 people have succumbed to the lethal flu bug. The number of patients who have recovered is 169,752.

Amid rising cases and lockdown restrictions in this third wave, one positive news is the registration and distribution of COVID vaccines to healthcare providers and the elderly aged above 60. Several vaccination centers have been established in Punjab and reports coming from these centers are welcoming as vaccinations are being done seamlessly. Provincial health minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid provided the details regarding the vaccination drive of the Punjab government via Twitter, she wrote:

While 22k people have already been vaccinated in Punjab another 45 million doses are being imported & there will be no interruption in the supply of the vaccine. There are no serious side effects of the vaccine nor has the quality been compromised in any way.

She also urged the public to follow Coronavirus SOPs:

We are witnessing an alarming increase in positivity ratio. People must be careful! The govt. has started an awareness campaign, increased reserved beds for the affected & increased testing capacity at all the 22 BSL-3 Labs.