Covid-19 cases in Pakistan surpass 25,000
Pakistan has reported one of the highest surges in coronavirus infections throughout the world only hours before the country was due to exit lockdown bringing the total number of cases to 25,837.
Official sources have reported over 1,764 new cases. Deaths have increased by 30 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 594.
PM Imran Khan intends to start lifting the lockdown, which was already starting to fray, from tomorrow in a bid to rescue the ailing economy as it enters a recession.
People have been urged to abide by remaining precautions. Khan has warned that they would be lifted gradually and reimposed in the event of an uncontrollable surge in infections.
Covid-19 began slowly in Pakistan, with only a few cases reported in February. Yet by late March the numbers rose dramatically with health authorities reporting an average of 1,000 cases and 30 deaths every day over the past week. The only other Muslim-majority countries reporting a similar or higher rate are Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran.
Small shops will be allowed to reopen with limited hours, while large shopping centres will still remain shut. Intercity transport will remain suspended and schools will only reopen in mid summer.