ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - As deaths and coronavirus infections rise in the country amid second wave of the pandemic, the Punjab government has rejected reports of schools closure, asking citizens to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) devised by the federal government to contain the virus spread.  

The total active COVID-19 cases in the country on Sunday recorded 12,592 as 977 more people tested positive for the deadly virus during the last 24 hours. Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas on Sunday clarified that there was no plan to close schools for now despite a slight increase in coronavirus numbers. He said the Punjab government was keeping a close eye on coronavirus cases in the province’s schools. He said that random testing was being conducted and a slight increase in numbers has been observed. “Situation being analysed on daily basis. There is NO plan to close Schools as of right now. Please follow SOPs,” the minister said in tweet.

On the other hand, at least 17 corona patients, 16 of who were under treatment in hospitals and one out of hospital died on Saturday. According to the updates issued by the National command and Operation Centre (NCOC), no COVID affected person was on ventilator in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan, while 97 ventilators elsewhere in Pakistan, out of 1,884 allocated for COVID-19 patients, were occupied.

With 17 deaths, 977 new cases confirmed in country in a day

Some 27,665 tests were conducted across the country on Saturday, including 7,479 in Sindh, 10,114 in Punjab, 4,106 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 4,271 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 1,001 in Balochistan, 380 in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), and 314 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). 

Around 314,555 people have recovered from the disease so far across Pakistan making it a significant count with over 90 percent recovery ratio of the affected patients. 

Since the pandemic outbreak, a total of 333,970 cases were detected so far, including AJK 4,133, Balochistan 15,920, GB 4,261, ICT 19,970, KP 39,564, Punjab 104,271 and Sindh 145,851. About 6,823 deaths were recorded in country since the eruption of the contagion, including 2,627 Sindh among two of them died in hospital on Saturday, 2,362 in Punjab five of them died in hospital on Saturday, 1,277 in KP one died in hospital on Saturday, 222 in ICT where five of them died in hospital on Saturday, 151 in Balochistan two of them died in hospital on Saturday, 92 in GB and 92 in AJK among one of them died in hospital and one out of hospital on Saturday.

A total of 4,458,890 corona tests have been conducted so far, while 735 hospitals are equipped with COVID facilities. Some 821 corona patients were admitted in hospitals across the country.