ISLAMABAD - The country reported at least 3,938 new infections over the last twenty-four hours on Tuesday as nationwide tally of coronavirus soared to 76,398.

At least 27,850 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 29,647 in Sindh, 10,485 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,514 in Balochistan, 2,893 in Islamabad, 738 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 271 in Azad Kashmir.

Some 27,110 patients have so far recovered from the virus while the death toll stands at 1,621 with 78 deaths reported during the last twenty-four hours.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Tuesday directed the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) to ask the provincial chief secretaries to present implementation plan for the decisions made by the Chief Ministers at National Coordination Committee (NCC).

The NCOC meeting chaired by Asad Umar reviewed the way forward for NCC decisions, opening of tourism and standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said that the provincial chief secretaries would also be directed to present the implementation mechanism at the NCOC. While highlighting the risk of contagion he warned that bazaars, public transport and industrial units were high risk areas and SOPs should be focused on these three areas.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza informed the forum that 26 SOPs, guidelines and protocols were developed by the Health Ministry in consultation with experts committee and Provincial input. Another guideline to protect the elderly population and the most vulnerable people from the risk of COVID-19 would be launched today, he added.

Federal Minister for Interior Brig (R) Ejaz Ahmed Shah said that the punishment should be clear on violation of SOPs to ensure strict compliance. The media should be actively engaged to educate and mobilize masses on the risk of pandemic and compliance of SOPs.

Chief  Executive Officer (CEO) National Information Technology Board Shabahat Ali Shah told the forum that the board had completed population density identification of six major cities including provincial capitals which would help identify positive, suspected and normal population in the data mapping.

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the federal government has set up more coronavirus testing laboratories in the country to meet  30,000 tests per day in start of June. While talking to a private news channel, he said federal government has significantly increased its testing capacity, allowing health experts to identify cases of COVID-19 and support efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Asad said that the coronavirus testing capacity has been increased with more than 100 testing labs in the country and capacity target is an important milestone on our journey to control the spread of the virus, save lives and gradually ease lockdown. He told that since the start of lockdown Pakistan has increased the number of tests significantly.

The minister said that complete lockdown was converted into smart lockdown to facilitate the people especially daily wagers. Replying a question, he said that situation relating to coronavirus in Pakistan is not alarming, but still more measures are required to safe the nation.